I bought my wife a Garmin unit. She thinks it's the greatest thing ever invented. You don't have to be a Computer major to run it, and I use it for business meetings more than she does. Best thing I ever did cause I travel alot.
I think mine is a 400?, bought it last christmas for $350 on sale.
They work well. I have used one or the other for over a decade now. I would not travel without one. In the past I have used black and white marine type units as the display on the automobile units are too small for my aged eyes. I recently bought a 276C Plus which works very well as a marine unit or an auto routing unit in your vehicle. I believe Garmin makes the best products.
While I am pretty good with most things (including maps) I am, personally "geographically challenged". I can get lost going down the street.
I bought the Garmin C550 about 9 months ago. I LOVE THIS THING!!! I travel all over the state and never worry about getting to my destination or getting home.
I researched like crazy before I bought something. Looked at all the brands and decided that Garmin was the best of the bunch. I felt that the Navteq maps and Garmin positioning algorithms are superior to the others. In addition my model routes me around traffic jams. Love it. Love it. Love it.
A Friend of mine bought a Tom-Tom and it didn't have some of the streets in Wichita in it's data bank.
I bought a Garmin Nuvi 350 and I think it's the cat's meow. It's small enough to carry in your shirt pocket and the voice is loud enough for me to hear in the car ( I'm a "little" hard of hearing ). When not plugged into the car the internal battery is good for about 3 hours. Another plus side for me is if I had any troubles the Garman plant is just outside of Kansas City. Garmin has GREAT customer support over the phone.
I recently purchased a Garmin Nuvi 660 and I find it to be an excellent unit. My wife has a BMW factory installed navigation system in her car. I thought this was very good until I got the Nuvi. The Garmin blows it out of the water. I also recently drove a new Accura with a factory installed system. Again, the Nuvi is vastly better....much easier to use and more precise. The 660 is more expensive than some units out there. The main reason I spent the extra, besides having some more features (some of which I'll probably never use)is that the 660 has a larger display. I paid a little over $700 from Amazon.com. I also purchased the bean bag mount that just sits on the dash and is very secure an stable. Attaching it to the windshield mount suction cup (supplied with the unit)I found to not work as well because I had to stretch to reach it. The bean bag puts it closer...important since every input is done by touch screen. I will never again pay $2000 dollars for a factory installed system.
"IS THERE A CERTAIN MODEL THAT WORKS BETTER FOR THE MONEY".
Hard to say what your needs are. I had specific requirements for functionality and wasn't concerned about price.
If I were you, I would take a moment and go to https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=134. Compare the various models you think you will like. Pick a model ... then go to http://www.mysimon.com and search for it. Pick a reputable dealer and go forth.
I bought a Garmin 330 Street Pilot in June'05 & have used it successfully in OR, NV & CA. Last March, I sent it back to the factory for repair (it wouldn't turn on), & despite the fact that the warranty had expired, they replaced it with a brand new unit that carries the 1-year warranty. Great product & great company.
try WWW.GPScity.com. they had the best price. When I bought mine they have a comparison page so you can check the different brands. Garmin replaced my unit because the screen had a dead spot and it was out of warranty also. needed a new cord. they sent on no charge. as far as maps. remember that the map is always one year behind. If you buy the update today it is already one year old. It has to be that way because the mapper people are out making the map are out during the year making the changes and they are released at the end of the year. There are a few mistakes but the have a web page that allows you to write in and tell them the problems. I am looking at updating to a newer unit and really like the one that I have. You also have to go to the web site of the brand that you buy and make sure they are updated. I do like my garmin and recommend the company highly. Motordoc