COBB is an easier install but so far its not producing what JB4 does horsepower wise nor does it have the in-car features of the JB4. That's a trade off only the final user can put a price on. In my case 1/2 hour work was not a reason to go to a flash tune. As for upgrades I went from a JB4 to a JB4 G5 for a combined cost that is less then the initial purchase price of a COBB.
There has only been AFAIK 3 versions JB3, JB4 & JB4/G5. There have been many many free updates to both firmware & software. You can still get free firmware/software updates for all the versions so they are not obsoleting them just enhancing the features.
Thing you really need to think about on retail vendors recommendation is who has the most to gain buy advising the purchase of a more expensive product. As we all have said before they are both good systems designed for different user requirements. Personally I do not believe that some one who can't install a piggy back should be doing any modification to their cars, but that's just me.
A few this left out of the post above:
Over 15,000 in use and tens of millions of customer miles driven.
Features: code reading/deleting, optional in dash boost, timing, air/fuel, shift light, and IAT gauges, autotuning, a buttery smooth new CANbus based integrated boost control system, optional isolated boost control, map switching on the fly via steering wheel controls, built in downpipe fix, hot/cold oil temperature protection, progressive methanol integration, water pump remapping, gear dependent boost control/traction assist, and much more to come with free firmware updates uploaded using a windows laptop (or mac w/ windows emulator) and BMS USB cable. For those who have access to E85 (ethanol) fuels the JB4 will automatically tune itself for them yielding huge power gains over pump gas alone. In addition a speed limit defeat, manual transmission 2STEP rev limiter, and manual transmission no lift shifting can be enabled by adding in an extra harness.
2013 BMW 135is 6spd conv - 2011 BMW 335is Coupe JB4/ISO
2010 BMW X3 - 2009 Ford Expedition 4X4 EL - 2009 V-Star
2003 Nissan Xterra 4X4 - 1998 Ford Ranger 4X4 Splash
Last edited by bear-avhistory; 01-28-2013 at 01:06 PM.