EscapeVelocity: I borrowed a few friends' antennas this weekend and even shelled out for an MANT410 at Wal-Mart. Sadly, I don't think my results add much to the discussion. I think I live "too close" to the towers for amplification to help.
The MANT410 was slightly worse than the cheapie, ooooold UHF loop / VHF dipole combo we've been using. I think that's to its credit, because everything else I hooked up was far worse than that.
One antenna that totally displeased me was the RCA ANT1251. It's supposedly 55db amplified, so that could've been my problem... still, at the lowest setting it couldn't even keep the local Lansing WLNS/WILX stations steady. It only pulled in 5 total channels (plus subchannels), while the others averaged between 8 to 11.
Lordy, all I want to do is slightly shore up the channels I'm getting in the 60-70% signal strength range... but nothing seems to help. Leaves me to wonder if an SS-3000 or an HD-1080 (or other DB2 style antenna) would be worth a shot in our basement apartment. I'm close to giving one a shot, since I can re-sell on eBay if it doesn't work out. If I do that, I'll post my impressions... especially if they're positive *grin*