So I bought an 8500 X50 (Red) from Amazon.com for $250 (a pretty good deal from what I see on the internet). I've never owned a radar detector before but I did some research and this one seemed the best for what I was looking for. Pretty much a nice simple set up I could keep in my car all the time and not need to worry about. Plus I couldn't pass up the price.
I hardwired it to my '02 Chevy Monte Carlo LS via the molex connector for the rear view mirror. The wiring for the lights in this car never ceases to amaze me. Of 4 wires (not including the ground) one of them is only hot when the car is off, one is on all the time, one is controlled by the dimmer, and the other (the one I used, d'oh!) only turns off when the car is in reverse or the headlights are on after pressing a button on the keyfob remote (to unlock/lock the doors/trunk etc.). Anyways, it works (except in reverse! lol). I'll post some pictures later if anyone is interested in my setup.
On to today's experience. On the weekends I deliver pizzas so I figured this would be a good chance to test it out under real conditions. Came across about 12 cops or so throughout the day. Two legitimate speed traps (cops on the side of the road radaring traffic) that the X50 spotted about a half mile away and ramped up quite nicely. I was very impressed with the range. A couple times I turned onto a road where a cop was driving (not previously picked up by the X50 due to buildings or lack of cars to reflect off of) and the meter would go from 0 to about 8 bars in a matter of less than a second. Many times I was surprised to find that it picked up cops driving perpendicular to me before they even came close to the intersection. As far as false alarms I really can't say I've had to many, and I'm confident most of them were likely just cops I couldn't see. I did have one encounter with an X-band radar that I thought must have been a false alarm. Turns out that Illinois forest preserve cops still use X-band in their cars. All in all I am VERY impressed with this unit. That's pretty much my experience with the X50 so far, I shall post some highway encounters tomorrow as I will be on the interstate for a couple of hours.