I had an Echo with the hip throttle and liked it, It seemed very strong and natural to place my left hand on the throttle. When I upgraded my blower I wanted to try a tube throttle but no shop I called seem to stock them in the New York Metro area. The shops that would order one wanted extra money over the hip throttle; so i bought my blower out of state. I am very happy with the tube throttle as it leaves my other hand free and is a bit more maneuverable in tight areas. There seems to be a consensus in the northeast that the hip throttle is more durable and that the throttle cable is less likely to snag causing failure. the EB802 tube throttle cable is well placed and unlikely to snag, however the Echo hip throttle bar (though well made) has snagged on occasion. I am not sure if landscape crews are any different in other parts of the country but here I see them being unnecessarily hard on equipment. Throwing them into trucks, swinging blowers on by one strap, pulling the starter cord as fast and hard as possible and fanning the throttle from full to idle over and over again. I guess this is good for the shops but it doesn't help the owners of the business any and does not decrease the time spent on a property, if anything it creates down time...
I own four pieces of Stihl equipment now and like them all. The half moon caps are on 3 of them and I have never had any issue with them. They close in a very positive way and have not leaked. I think haste may have some people closing the caps improperly so they in turn leak.
Homeowner (fixing up a neglected yard/house)
Stihl FS 90R (Trimmer)
Echo SRM-230 (Trimmer)
Stihl HS 45 (Hedge Trimmer)
Stihl MS-360 25" (Chainsaw)
Poulan 3700 20" (Chainsaw)
Echo CS-3000 14" (Chainsaw)
Scotts Classic (Reel Mower) Yep!
Shindaiwa EB802RT (Blower)