When I was a Tech , I considered it a entrance ramp onto Amateur Radio...not a destination. I found an Alinco dualband HT and a used Kenwood TS430...guess which one got more use? The Alinco got me onto a few repeaters but it was the contacts on 10m that got me taking the General and in turn the Extra exams. Too many Techs get stuck on repeaters and never expand their horizons. Half the time it's the mindset on the various repeater qso's. The other half is it's an added expense . Amateur radio is not cheap. When that 29 dollar Baofeng dies ...so does their hobby. Buy decent gear your hobby will thank you.