I own the Maruyama BL8100, love it. I paid $389. It is the lightest big blower around and is the quietest. Very comfortable to wear.
Echo has proven that they have been coming out with reliable products even when they first come out. That cannot be said about other brands. But being a very conservative person, I still would hold out my judgement until I see people are still excited about the PB770 two years later. That's just me. Shindaiwa used to come out with bullet proofed products until the EB8510 which proof to be a bomb!!!