Garmin StreetPilot c580, 10 months later
In July 2007 I bought a Garmin StreetPilot c580 GPS unit. The price I paid was $475. It is now available for around $280. This is the third Garmin GPS I've owned. Before that was the c340 (which I still have) and before that the i3.
It's now 10 months later; here's what's happened.
The only bad thing that's happened is that the audio "fuzzes" ever-so-slightly when the unit is speaking. And that's it. Absolutely nothing else has gone wrong.
The good stuff is that the unit still operates exactly the same as when I first took it out of the box. As for the performance, it's now better because of the firmware upgrades and MSN updates via the Garmin WebUpdater.
The c580 does exactly what it's supposed to do and does it well.
I think what amazes me most about Garmin products is how rugged they are.
I'll put it to you this way: Mobile electronic devices will usually have something wear out or break on them in less than a year. A classic example of this is cell phones. All of them (repeat, all of them - including the expensive ones) are built cheap and it shows. Something on that phone will have partial or full failure before the 1-year mark is reached. The screen may "dim out" a bit, a button starts to become wobbly, the port for the charger doesn't work right anymore, etc. etc. etc. It's always something.
Garmin GPS devices don't have this problem. The build quality is superior to just about anything else its size.
The c340 that I still have in my possession only now has started to exhibit very minor touchscreen issues (it's not as responsive as it used to be.) Bear in mind that I've beat the crap out of the unit. It's gone thru subfreezing cold and blistering heat on many occasions. Before I discovered friction mounts it took a dive off the plate mount more times than I can count. The unit has definitely "earned her stripes," so to speak. And it still works.
The c580 I have is still chuggin' along just like it's supposed to, and if the c340 is any testament to Garmin's build quality, my c580 should keep on working for good long time.