I've been using Hearthware roasters for about 12 years. The first version was small, noisy, but durable. The beans moved too fast to see clearly, so getting a good roast was difficult. I purchased a iRoast in 1994, and after one warranty repair, it died. At that time I sold my first Hearthware to a friend who used it for an additional 3 years. The unit I purchased in 1994 was similar to the i-Roast 2, in that the beans moved slowly enough to judge the roast. The 1994 model did not last much longer than the warranty period. I've owned my second i-Roast 2 for about 4 years. I no longer roast continuous batches, and the machine has not required repair. Not having experience with other roasters, I love the output. Using ear protection equipment makes roasting much more pleasant. The roaster will not roast coffee below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so a good kitchen vent (or heated garage) is mandatory in the north. The i-Roast 2 is very sensitive to the quantity of beans in the roaster. The coffee is agitated by blowing hot air through a center chimney, that is open at the bottom. If there are too many beans, they sit like a lump. With that situation, you get burned and green beans from the same roast - not very desirable. During a roast, beans are blown up through the center and then slowly move back down to the bottom. The beans can be observed and degree of roast determined quite well.
Vendors have been extremely responsive for all coffee products.