Strike writes:

> Tim!  As you're already starting to appreciate, everyone
> has their own particular thoughts about equipment.  But
> ultimately the decision must be yours as to what best
> suits your diving needs - and pocket!  (Although price
> should never be an issue when buying diving gear.)

Agreed.  The good news is that there's a lot of very good equipment that is
pragmatically 'good enough' for most recreational divers, so its really
pretty hard to make an extremely bad choice.

Also, I personally don't think that one has to spend the world in order to
get a configuration that is good enough for one's needs.  For example, while
I'd never turn down a ScubaPro Mk20/G250, its 300+fsw depth performance
capabilities are overkill for normal recreational diving, so the less
expensive Mk14/R380 is probably a fair trade-off for most of us.

Overall, budgets are a reality for nearly all of us.   Having a good idea of
your objectives and requirements, with an eye towards how they may change is
of very high value to making good, objective decisions.

> When you're ready to buy - and have some brand names
> and models in mind - ask the question and I'm sure that
> you'll get a wealth of information to assist you.  :-)

For example, I'm of the opinion that brand & model aren't as important as
the question of if you can get good, reliable local service for the item.
After all,  the best regulator design in the world becomes a piece of trash
when it receives poor service.  Knowing what products your local shops offer
and which of those shops you trust is a highly localized variable that none
of us online can really answer...and a good question for your local shop's
Technician is if they have any strong likes/dislikes of working on a
particular regulator...and why.  Personal preferences frequently influence
the reasons and rationale.