If you have the money for an FT-8900r, you should go ahead and get that one over the 8800. The 8800 and 8900 are the exact same radio except for the two added bands on the 8900. I have an 8900 in my car, bought it when the radio first came out back in 2003. LOVE IT! It has great audio quality, no complaints on my mic gain or quality. I use the cross-band repeater feature all the time to extend the range of my HT. Even if you're only a technician right now, you could always upgrade to general or extra, and then the 10meter band on that radio would become available to you. And in a year or so when the new Solar Cycle kicks in, 10 meters is going to start becoming active. When that happens, you're going to hear 10 meter FM repeaters all over the country, and in other countries, day and night, and you'll be able to get into them with that radio with just 20 or 50 watts easy. Just to give you an example, about 2 years ago, we had a freak band opening one saturday afternoon, I so happen to be driving down I-10 and was monitoring 29.620 FM on my FT-8900R. I heard a ham who was in the TURKS AND CACIOS Islands come up on frequency announcing he was monitoring. He was going through a 10 meter FM repeater located in NYC. I responded back to him, and we had a 15 minute QSO. I'm in Mississippi, driving down I-10 talking to a ham in the Turks going through a 10 meter FM repeater located in NEW YORK CITY. That hasn't happened since then, because I don't bother monitoring all the time for those freak occurances, BUT, in a year or so, it's going to become common, everyday activity, and will continue for 11 years. The solar cycle lasts 11 years, part of it is UP and part of it is DOWN. We're at the very tail end of the DOWN SIDE. So it's time for it to go back up. So in my opinion, getting the FT-8900 is better than the 8800 for that reason. The FT-8900 is a solid radio. I have mine remote mounted. The rig is in the trunk of my car, and the head is mounted on a special mounting plate on my dash. It certainly performs on all 4 bands equally. It won't replace the 706, because the 706 has all of the other bands and modes, but when you want to listen to a 10 meter, and a 2 meter conversation it's good, or when you want to crossband a 10 meter fm freq to a 440 or 2meter freq, and then use your HT to talk/listen to the 10 meter fm freq, its great.