I have a 9 yr old Echo 413 that still starts 1st or 2nd pull with NO problems in 9 yrs. I have two Shindaiwa EB630's...both 8 yrs old... they also start easy and have been problem free. I have a Shindaiwa EB820 that is 1 yr old...just as good as the 630's but blows way harder.
My buddy uses the big Red Max 8000 and something...its back breaking heavy compared to my Shindaiwas. And he will agree that the Shindaiwa will outblow the REdMax.
The Stihls look cool, they are very light weight, they blow alot of cfm at the pipe....only problem I have is their reliability. Take a look at the Mechanic/Repair section of this website...count up how many BR600 problem threads there are. Now count how many Echo, Shindaiwa, Redmax, etc...
Any machine that has to have regular valve adjustments, full synthetic oil, no ethanol or whatever is too tempermental to me. As for me and my money, I will stick with the Shindaiwa and the new Echo which looks pretty good.
I just cant risk blowing $500 on a piece of machinery that will habitually be in the shop.