I use my $25 Baofeng on my boat. I've hit the repeater from 13 miles offshore with it, and talked to my buddy 40 miles away in a different town with it when my buddies $299 "Marine VHF radio" from West Marine couldn't get a reply. I consider it an excellent "backup emergency" radio for just that reason. I know that situation would be dependent on whether you could hit a repeater, but for me it works. Our local repeater is on the coast and radiates out across the Atlantic. The benefit I get from it my Baofeng is as a "disposable". If I accidentally drop my Baofeng overboard and it ends up on the bottom of the ocean, that sucks but I'm not going to cry over it. If some clumsy buddy drops his lead weights or his scuba tank on it and busts it, I'm not going to be mad. Now if either of that happens to my buddies $299 Marine VHF that won't reach help, he'll be out $300. For me, a Baofeng is like a Bic Lighter. You use it a few years, throw it away, and go buy a new one. Since my repeater is local, I can ride around in my truck and hit the repeater and talk all over town with my $25 Baofeng. It doesn't matter since the repeater is on a 300 foot tower and my town is relatively small. It keeps me from having to install a radio under my dash, run cables, run wires to the battery, and drill holes in my new truck to mount an antenna, etc. Why should I when the $25 Baofeng connects to the same repeater the 2-meter mobile would? I know some guys just like to "show off" their ham achievement with a huge antenna. And I could mount a HF whip on my bumper and just not have it connected to anything if I was just after "bragging rights". They ARE frustrating to program and the user manual sucks a "-2" on a scale of 1-10, but once you get over the learning curve they're not terrible radio's. Of course being cheap china, probably 20% of them are duds. I guess you just have to roll the dice and hope you get a good one, or spend hundreds on an Icom or Yaesu handheld. I just can't see the need for me to spend $300- $400 on an iCom/Kenwood/Yaesu handheld when my $25 Baofeng hits the same repeater from anywhere in town.