Bottom line they all have thier good points and bad points. You just have to go with the one that you can feel comfortable about. I feel everyone kinda likes thier own models in the area and they think you would be happy with the model they have and that is fine, but I would do more research and go to a forum where you know no one and just read what they have to say about the different makes as well. You also may want to go to consumers reports and see if they have any feed back. I wish you luck in finding the one that fits your needs.
Forry is right (for once, only teaing) I swear by Lowrance because it works for me and the menus are about the same and I know my way around them, the HD units have a different menu so myself]f Id never buy one unless I really had to.So there ya go, I wont switch within the same brand, ha-ha. every one likes what they have, what you need to find is someone who doesn't like what they bought.
I sent you another e mail in private, more on contours and safety contours. In my case between the 1' and safety contour, i increased my fishing area safely by at least 50% in Squam, that says allot.