I have decided to either go for a DeLorme (yes, the same company that makes the large street atlas you may have in your car or elsewhere) PN-40 (noted below) or the PN-20
$349.99 at Amazon (link above), but that includes topographic maps of the country, which can be used for full road routing. 1GB SC card and the usual complement of other stuff.
However… Factory refurbished units can be had for $199.99 from places like Tiger GPS and a few others. I have read the forums, and it seems factory refurbished units are just as good as (sometimes better than) new units. (May be better as the factory tests them more than new units.)
This makes it cheaper than the $234.09 Garmen Vista HCx (which by most accounts isn’t nearly as good)
and far cheaper than the equal model on the Garmin side, the one I would like to have of the Garmin’s the $299.99 60CSx (price dropped from last time I looked, perhaps due to the fact Garmin has a new GPS coming out soon)
But… there is always a “but.” But, there is a new DeLorme coming out called the PN-40, which by the looks of things is amazing… This is the one I would most want to have… but given economic realities, I’ll probably have to take the PN-20.
Meanwhile, beyond the news of the DeLorme PN-40… drool…
Okay, beyond that there is the new Garmin Oregon, which seems to be a touchscreen version of the Colorado series.
The $499.99 300 is probably the best starting point (there is a 200 as well… but it drops a few features that I would think one would want once they start spending this kind of money and doesn’t seem cheap enough compared to the 300 IMHO to bother)
Of course, just like the Colorado’s, there is a full line of 400’s, including the one that would be most helpful to my sort of situation, the 400t, which comes with topo maps pre-loaded at $599.99.
Of course, the touchscreen may be the problem with the Oregons. Depending on the sensitivity, will rain falling on it make the screen respond. How well will it respond if you have gloves, and the like?
Until I saw solid reviews, I would likely stick with the Colorados, though they still have firmware and software issues for many users. Of course that is just a personal preference, and I am sure many would prefer the touch screen of the Oregon over the wheel of the Colorado.
Just in case you want to check them out, the Colorado 300:
And the 400t:
In the end, I would likely wait to see the reviews on the PN-40 if I had the money to buy it… I am guessing, that since the PN-20, new is $349.99 (Amazon’s cheap, below suggested retail price…. which I think is $419.99), the new PN-40 is likely to go for much more… There haven’t been any rumors that I have seen yet about price, but I am going to guess suggested retail will be between $450/$500 (the suggested retail of Garmin’s 60CSx looks to be about $430) to $600/$650 (the suggested retail of the Colorado 400t is $640, so I am guessing that would be the upper range they would go at)… but that isn’t really an educated guess, just a wild guess. 🙂