I got a Passport 8500 as a gift back in 2000. I used it until May 2012. It started to crack and I had to update the software on it twice. It still works great. I got two tickets with it and they were both entirely my fault. I got so used to muting alerts from automatic doors and other false alarms, that I muted the 8500 and got two tickets in the process. I upgraded to the Passport 9500 CI and I have to say that it is the best radar detector (for my needs). False alarms are eliminated after you encounter the same alert in the same exact location three times thanks to GPS. Software is upgraded via USB now. Everything that I wanted to change about the 8500 is now in the 9500CI. Its expensive but its worth it and it just works very well. I've never used a Valentine 1 but I've heard from friends that its awesome but it doesn't have the ability to lock out false alerts like the Passport 9500 CI. I say spend the money and get the 9500 or Valentine 1.