As much as I hate to say it. 98's are the way to go. Got a few that I maintain in the rental fleet that are over a decade old and still going.
A good deal that's a little less than a 98 is the us army carver one. It's a 98 with a different body that retails for 99. Wholesale a bit less than a basic 98. Really the best deal available.
The ft12's are not bad. Really do a lot better with smaller people. 98/carver one's are a tad too long for smaller players. My only beef with the ft12 is the seal for the gas tube into the body. Seems like I replace those after every 3-4 times they get rented out. Other than that they are pretty solid.
Valkens SW-1 is also a really good value. The rental version is almost a better value that the carver one. Low cost and keep going and going. After having a couple in the rental fleet for a few months of weekly use they have not had a single hiccup.
With the inline blowback design, reliability is far better than any stacked tube design. Honestly had more headaches back in the early 2000's with piranahs than ever could with inline blowbacks.
Originally Posted by Mr. Hick
lets say your at the bar...
You trade a guy you know a condom for a beer.
He takes himself on home and calls you the next friday saying "hey bro, That condom you loaned me broke after I took it out of its wrapper and used it"
Would you really trade back a beer for a used rubber?