I am aware that the website says $ 399.00. I was basing my figure on the published retail in the newly received supply of 2007 P/W catalogs. Go figure.....
The same catalog has the 800+ and Platinum 2000 retailing for $ 669.00. That is down from last years retail of $ 799.00 which was effective from March 1, 2006 until the sale started in, I think, September.
My guess is that those new retail figures have been found to be more realistic in todays market. I'm sure that the 'special' pricing on the website will end sometime soon. There has been a month to month extension of the sale prices since the end of November last.
I have the 800+, and the P/W shell feeder. I have used the AutoMate II, the stock handle, Whiz's bent handle, and another gentleman on here who markets a "leverage" handle, and have hydraulic on my loader now. Would not go back to anything but the hydraulic at this point (but it is Spolar to be honest, for the electronic foot control).
I used the 800+ without the shell feeder just getting the feel of things. While you can probably go just as fast without a shell feeder, that accessory works extremely well, and if you won't miss the money, I would highly recommend one. The feeder just makes loading much easier, with my only concern grabbing a wad and checking the primer drop (never misses, but I still check). I don't recall what I paid for mine, but it was lot more than 290 or 300 bucks. Still, whatever it was, I really like it and would miss it if gone. I think it does allow you to go a bit faster, but I load to enjoy the experience and satisfaction of a quality shell, so speed is not my primary motivation.
I spoke to BRIAN AT p/W and he says that the "Sale" will continue for a few more months? It seems strange with the new retail price just $20.00 more than the sale, but who are we to argue. I have a full, instock inventory of P/W machines, parts and accessories, I'm told that there is a considerable delay in shipping from P/W since they got way behind when there main fabricating machine went down.