Rather than drone on about crap (literally), or new products, I figured I'd talk about what I did at the Hamvention.
My impression was just being shocked by the number of people in such a large space. The last hamfest I was at was in 2002, and there were fewer people there than at the Icom booth at Hamvention. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is made.
I originally wanted to hit four forums. I actually hit two: propagation and techniques of the best operators. They were interesting. I got there too late for 10 reasons to QRP (I already had the most important reason, and that was because I can't afford something better!). I decided not to stay in the room for kitbuilding.
Most of my day was spent looking around the flea market. I really wanted to bring home an HF rig. After an hour or two of looking, I saw a lot of prices outside my price range, and then saw a table with a stack of two Radio Shack 10m rigs. $45 for both, one works one for parts. I couldn't resist.
With the two rigs stuffed in my backpack, I called my wife and asked her to do some research for me. I need a power supply, since I have no intention of operating HF mobile (and I don't think my truck can power an additional rig). She looked up the power specs and I set out in search of lunch and a power supply.
...well, power supply now, lunch later. Those are some long lunch lines.
So, I made my way around the rest of the flea market, finding a power supply for $30. Into the backpack. Those things are HEAVY.
By this time, I did stop for lunch and got into a conversation with a ham from Syracuse (I think) and originally from Minnesota. He told me about his antenna - a dipole attached to his deck eaves, something I will likely imitate once I build a deck.
Upon more looking around (and some of this, I don't know when I saw it), I did see a cool quad antenna made with PVC (another design I will likely imitate, since I need a decent antenna for 10m now).
I also walked off with a hamstick for 10m and a handful of connectors and antenna insulators.
When I got home, I began testing things, and even though I was in less than perfect testing conditions (if you saw the wire I was using for power, you'd understand that less than perfect part). One of the rigs worked fine. The other turns on but has no display. I haven't diagnosed it, but when I get around to it, I plan on checking it against the known mods for the HTX-100, since the speaker lines were desoldered (not cut or ripped).
So now I have the Milford Hamfest to look forward to next month.