|Tin Whiskers on an IC contact|
One thing many people agreed on was this: if you want to be sure of the reliability of your amateur radio equipment then build your own. A simple QRP transceiver, easy to make from many published designs in QRP books, should last a lifetime and will be easy to fix in the unlikely event of something going wrong. There is also nothing quite as satisfying as making contacts with something you have built. Even a simple crystal controlled TX and direct conversion receiver are likely to give FAR more satisfaction than a rig costing £1000 with all the bells and whistles. I still recall the thrill of my first ever hombrew contact across the Atlantic with 800mW CW on 15m using my little Pipit transceiver with 7 transistors total and a handful of parts. This rig was so effective that it was my main station rig for many months. Every QSO, and there were lots, meant something special.