Bushy B2K & BKO's, aside from those I dont have much previous experience shooting true electro pneumatics. My last marker was a stack tube blow back electro (M3 Black Dragun LCD, did it's job, lasted me through the years)
-Empire Reloader B
-14" CP Barrel 1 piece .689 bore
-AA Messiah Reg (yeah, it's oldschool, but still a goodie, I cannibalized my old marker for the regs)
-PPS Stabilizer Female (bottomline reg, also cannibalized off my old marker)
-CP Sling Blade Trigger
-8" Drop Forward
-ACI Bulldog 68ci 4500 (also from my old marker, re-hydro'd of course)
Only upgrades I'll really recomend as must haves are the feed neck, barrel, and trigger. Everything else, though available should be left up to player preference.
For the price it has alot of bells and whistles
Trigger feel is horrid.
Programming can be painful at first.
Ok I'll make my review short and sweet, as I dont have much to add that hasn't already been said about this marker. I'll share mainly my experience with it rather then what I think of it as a reviewer, as CKvBP's review pretty much touched up on anything you'll need to know about the Ion.
As far as my review / experience goes with this marker, it's definately problem free. I play every 2 to 3 weeks and haven't had any need to field strip my marker, or work out a problem since Nov of 08 when I purchased it. I've heard a few stories, but I think problems with this marker would be fairly uncommon as I, and the many people I've met who use the marker have had absolutely no problems with it.
The only real bone I have to pick with the Ion XE is the trigger feel. From the moment I touched it I noticed a fair amount of side play, and personally I dont like alot of side play in my marker triggers. Just makes them feel more like plastic toy guns (which there is a significant amount of plastic on the Ion concidering what it's made of, but dont be fooled, it is sturdy, only the thought that it's made of plastic bothers me I've had no problems with it functionality wise). I highly recomend switching to an aftermarket trigger. The CP Sling Blade felt the best for me, there are a plethora of aftermarket trigger styles for this thing, look around and see which one catches your fancy the most. Walking the factory trigger to 17 bps is doable, but much easier accomplished by swapping out the trigger.
I do really wish that it came with a clamping feed neck, however the standard feed neck is usable atleast. Though most players who I've seen who still use the factory feed neck rip out the o rings inside of it and sand their hoppers to fit, which I am not a fan of sanding down a $140 some odd dollar hopper to fit a marker. I'd rather buy a $30 clamping neck and use that..
Conclusion is that this marker is definetly capable of giving you a fair chance against just about anything out there, and is upgradable to any level of play should you choose to do so. I would recomend this marker to just about any player who doesn't want to drop one large lump sum on a high end marker but still wants to be able to play against high end players. All in all the Ion really is what you decide to make of it, yes there are better markers out there, but straight out of the box in it's price range, I'd definately say its the best bang for it's buck. 9/10 (minus 1 point for trigger feel, for $225, I'd like to see a trigger with less side movement, I dont mind that it's sturdy plastic, I do mind that it's all over the place though)