I've had a Garmin GPS 12 for a couple of years now - therefore probably out of date - but it's done all I wanted of it.
Consider whether you just want a fixing aid for walking about or whether you ned a more swept up navigation system for vehicles/aircraft/boats with waypoints and track keeping and so on.
A very important consideration is battery life - my Garmin eats them, but as I only really use it as a fixing aid and switch it off when not in use, it's not a problem. If you are moving at even Landy speeds and need it switched on all the time to plot track made good and so on, battery life might be a bit more of an issue.
I had a 38 sold it on Ebay, bought a Legend from Ebay, Â£115 plus P & P, bought Metroguide v6 from Ebay.. soes I can use it for work and holidays in France,(wife is navigationally challenged ..bless her).
Great display,light as anything, great bit of kit.
If you use Peer to Peer software, you can problably find Mapsource software.
Use mine all the time now, ...
Legend, Vista or Venture you won't go wrong, depends on your budget thats all
I've been using an etrex Legend with Memory Map for several months without any problems. You can't load the maps onto the device from MM, but you can certainly transfer routes, tracklogs and waypoints. If you want maps to put on the handheld, you'll need to get hold of the Garmin mapping CDs from their website or ebay. I don't think much of the mapping function on the legend though; any of the etrex range will be plenty good enough.
What sets it apart from the eTrex, etc., is its robustness. Whereas the eTrex, Venture, etc. are about the size of 2003 mobile phones and equally flimsy, the 72 is more like a 1999 jobbie (although it was actually released in at the end of 2002): biggish but waterproof and able to withstand being dropped.
As you might be aware, the big trouble with GPS is battery consumption. You can't really leave them on all the time. But each time the handset is switched on it takes a wee while to locate the signals from the satellites which tell it where it is. The time taken to do this can be critical - it can take more than five minutes if it has not been turned on for a couple of weeks. Subsequent reacquisitions of the satellites, if turned off for only an hour or so, take about a minute in reality. The 72 is pretty quick.
I've popped a list of requirements below of the features I'm after, any suggestions:
Handheld GPS for civvie trekking
Has a map display as close as dammit to an OS 1:25000
Capable globally or near as poss. with uploading maps from somewhere or other.
You'll note I care not about weight (now that my boots are hungup I've got loads of space in my bergen where the 319 used to go)
I don't care about the cost if its the right kit so I can hang on to it for a few years, so expensive is fine but its got to be worth it.
I don't really need many features either, from my POV I'm just after a map and compass replacement (hence the must have map-like-display, not this:
I recognise the 'don't trust just a gps, take your own map and compass too' line and depending on task I will.
Go for Garmin . Ignore the knobbers who say compass and a map . That is bollacks . You try sending grids rapid at night in a tracked vehical at speed . How the old timers did it i dont know. Compass and map as well of course but Gps is the way ahead .Why make it hard