After much deliberation I bit the bullet and took advantage of the defender sale
by ordering a B&G zeus. I like that it's compatible with a wide range of different non-proprietary charts
, i like that it's made for sailors instead of fishermen, and most of all i like that it was cheap! I guess it's being superceded by the zeus^2 so they're trying to get rid of all the 'old' units.
Otherwise it would have been the Furuno
for it's basic, reliable functionality. I am biased against Garmin though from my experiences, not just from the handhelds but also from using a Garmin on a trans-Atlantic on a friend's boat last year. It worked fine until it got wet, then the touch screen was a nightmare.
Cheers for all the replies guys. Hopefully there's a lot of info in here that will also be of use to others.