I have been using an Cobra (don't know what model) for years and it has sucessfully given me enough notice that I have not gotten a radar ticket in years. It also told me the two times I was "lit up" on LIDAR, but was below speed limit at the time.
While I was satified with the performance, the mounting sucks. The visor clip didn't hold the unit in a good position and the suction cups died after about 1 year, so for a long time, I just had it in the visor (it was in the visor when I had the LIDAR hits even).
Finally, one day, someone was using the visor mirror and I had the Cobra off and got a ticket. My friend has had a had an Escort, I think the 8500 for some time and loves it. When we go on trips, he clearly had more warning than I did and I know he could get replacement suction cups. I read about the Escort 9500xi and really liked the idea of the GPS.
Of course now that I have the 9500xi, I'd never go back and it's totally worth the money. With the Cobra, you totally had to react to every Ka alert. The Escort almost gives too much notice. Sometimes I get like 1 mile notifications and sometimes it's much closer because the cops occasionally turn off the radar, so I have to drive a little differently with a decent detector.
One thing I'm trying to understand about this forum is why there is no Laser Interceptor page. While they seem to have a very good forum of thier own, I'd expect to see the "best" LIDAR system here with more coverage. Is it because they only sell directly and this web site's supporters cannot make money on it?
The new, updatable blinder looks promising, but if I go to the trouble of a custom install, seems like I should just go ahead and put the few extra bucks into the "best". I really like the fact that LI seems to have all of thier issues out in open forums. Anything that is "wrong" seems to be public. I like transparency a lot (need more of it in corp and government).
Just a few, perhaps contrary thoughts. I hope this is an "open" forum...