...but only if you're into VSTi's, sound creation, and home studios. I picked up a spanking new Alesis XV49 on SDOTD (Musician's Friend) for $149.00 (sells all over the net for $399). Although I have a Samson Graphite 49 and a Roland A70 (oldie but goodie), I couldn't resist what appeared to be a well-built controller with tons of features and that included an unbelievable software package. The software included VIP (fabulous, especially when mated to this controller), Ableton Lite 9, and literally thousands of samples, loops, etc. Sounds can be called up on either the built-in screen or on the computer (they mirror each other). It also has built-in Arpegiation (preset or custom patterns), recording transports, and too many features to mention here. Other highlights include an unbelievable Piano package with literally hundreds of samples. The keybed is a little stiff (for a general purpose controller), more like 'fully weighted'; great for pianists (except for the 49 keys
). I suspect it will loosen up a bit with use. Has both 5 pin din and USB midi so you can have USB to computer and simultaneously control a hardware module.
The learning curve is a bit steep but worth it to explore all the features. It seems to be getting rave reviews on most of the music sites and store reviews. Not as exciting as a new Genos but at $149, I'm stoked. Personally, I think it would be a bargain at the regular price (if you have such a need).