I own two, this F1 Focus is lighter than my PiEPS 457 and transmits further. Its oval design also sits against my rib cage better than the rectangle design of the PiEPs. When I looked the price up today, three retailers had it at $230. Probably a hard item to find on sale I would imagine.
When I posted this review in 2005 this transceiver was not outdated. Your 1998 reference is a little odd, but maybe that was a special memory for you. I agree today they have upgraded the technology on receivers to make them more idiot proof. I suggest and hope anyone reading a review reads the date the review was posted. No different than researching articles or reviews via the internet at large. All gear reviews from SP 1 have been transferred to this new gear format and many of the reviews will be on outdated products.
Test/compare a F1 Focus with a 3 antenna transmitter (PIEPS DSP) under adverse conditions (multiple burials, some next to each other etc.)
My first beacon was a Ortovox 2F; in 1998 I bought a F1 Focus (at that time the best beacon); in Dec. 2005 I changed to the Pieps DSP. Searching with the Pieps DSP is improved and much faster (especially multiple burials).