I have had the Escort Passport 8500 X50 for about a week and have found it to be a fantastic detector!
With the Escort trade-in program, I purchased the 8500 X50 for $250 + shipping. I thought about it and have read users stating that these are expensive units. Now by looking at other units such as Cobra, Whistler, Uniden (not that they make Detector units any more), etc they are pricey.
However, when you think about what you get for $250-500, the research, technology, company has to employ people and pay taxes, health insurance costs, units MADE IN USA, electronic components, plastic molds, etc, you are getting a great deal! Try to make a RD unit in your basement today!
Even Cobra and Whistler have income from other products, while Escort and Valentine are pretty much dependent on the radar units!
So enjoy the components that will save you from a embarrassing pulled over on the side of the road moment.