I've been running a Beltronics Vector 940 for a few years direct wired into my car. No complaints, it ran well for the first year or two. Then it started acting screwy, picking up laser when I was in the middle of nowhere and stuff like that in my hometown (I know area well and what to expect). So I had it repaired under warranty and go figure about a year later it stops picking up ka all together and picking up X all the time.
Now, I've got a friend with an 8500 X50 and it was always very sensitive. Not that sensitivity was an issue with my V940 but the difference between the two was pretty noticeable. My main concern is reliability though. From what I've gathered (and correct me if I'm wrong on this) the Escort's lower level lineup (such as the 8500 X50) are more popular than the lower end Beltronics.
I guess I should also mention my driving habits. I do a decent amount of city but very often I drive from northeast MA to mid/upper NH on I-93 (highway). Thats a good 100 miles sometimes. Sometimes you'll see state police waiting, sometimes you don't, but as I'm sure most of you agree, better safe than sorry. Also, I'm not a real fast driver. I don't drive an S4 or M3. But I do sometimes creep over the limit and that's my reason for having a RD, which is also why I'm not looking for one of the expensive ones like some of you seem to have (no disrespect intended, but it's unnecessary for me).
So basically, I've found a used 8500 X50 on craigslist that I'm thinking I may get away with for a great deal. I'm gonna check it out first obviously but I'd like to get a feel for how you guys have experienced it's reliability, or lack there of. performance info would be helpful also.