I recently ordered valor its-710w and yesterday, it was delivered.
I tried to install it by myself (gti 2005) for a practice, but it wasn't possible. It didn't power on.
The final installation was set to touareg 2005.
Anyway, it wasn't that easy, and I thought this is a faulty one, so I contacted a retailer.
Coming out of box, it seems like an okay unit, but just like you, I didn't have much belief on the brand of valor. But my retailer is even worse. Told me to contact Valor first.
So I thought I am stuck with this Valor stuff. Then I contacted local installer and he took a look and told me that the unit is fine and it would cost $300 to install. And the installation was done today and I checked out everything.
The nice (or possibly the bad) thing about this valor is that it has so many stuffs. There is many things to control and you need some time to learn the unit.
1. Ipod, supported (works okay, no asian font supported)
2. XM supported (Terk XM can be installed, no adapter necessary-- $50 at crutchfield with $30 prepaid xm radio card, so effectively$20 for XM)
3. Backup camera supported (the installer suggested me to install kenwood backup camera for $300, so I added it, it is VERY convenient)
4. TV, DVD, DIVX (DIVX part is really the best part, even the expensive in dash dvd system doesn't support divx. TV doesn't work very well, ny area - I wasn't let down by this, since my home doesn't have a good reception)
5. Bluetooth (built in works fine, but loading the phonebook can take some time, otherwise it is great.)
6. navigation supported (need nav-2 unit)
7. multizone - meaning separate source into the headunit and reat unit
After the installation, I have now the points 1-5. I didn't get the navigation unit, as nav-2 (navmate) isn't something that I am aware very well. But it seems like a good unit.
So far I have spent probably $1300 for valor its-710wt, backup camera, xm radio and installation. It seems like if I spent $500 for nav-2 and $700 for headrest units, I would have a complete solution. Compared to that, Manufacturer's option package would probably cost $4500 (plus tax) for headrest dvd and in-dash navigation. And higher brand name stuff would cost something like $3000 - 3500 (but probably don't support divx, no multi-zone, and many small adapters are needed). In all, I believe it's an okay deal, if not a good deal. Nothing spectacular, but it is OKAY and every function works (it seems like that so far).
I think the unit that you are thinking is sold at costco, too ($1499+shipping + tax, installation included, possibly need to spend $100 more for misc stuffs )
About the interface, it takes definitely some time to learn all the stuffs.
I think I will enjoy the set up based on valor its-710w.