I've been lurking to monitor price trends, and also wanted to thank em-t-wallitt for his effort with this experiment (and some great tips he's given us this year).
Originally Posted by em-t-wallitt
The 450 is the Costco version of the 550 sold at Best Buy and Future Shop. The 450 would have a better encoder than the 640, but I think the 450 is missing the USB port to plug in a USB keyboard to rename your recordings.
For future reference, the 450 is indeed the 550 without USB or DV connections, the followup 460 is exactly the same as a 560 and does include the USB and DV ports. All the x50 and x60 models are incredible, the best Pioneers made, noticeably better PQ than the previous 640.
Hopefully the recorder does not have any hidden major defect.
For $50, I'm betting dead burner or HDD issues. Even broken, for $50 it could be worth sinking another $200 into it to replace the burner (considering the $300-400 they fetch on eBay). A cheap x50 or x60 can be a huge
bargain if the seller is dumping it due to HDD hiccups: this is almost always the result of loosened SATA cables (pop the cover, reseat the cables, the unit works good as new). Just figured I'd note this stuff, since this thread is winding down: happy hunting, friends!