Tested other people's Mags and Cockers, but no long term use. My previous marker was a VM-68 (PMI-III) that served me well for many years, and continues to do so.
Desert Fox with a 88ci HPA fixed output tank, Psycho Ballistics drop forward, Freak and 12v Revy.
First thing to do is go get a compressed air/HPA thank. This marker won't perform as it should using CO2. I suggest a 88ci tank, as it is generally good for ~600 shots at 280fps. Second, I would get a drop forward because the marker with the tank will be a bit too long and unbalanced. Finally, get a barrel that fits the paint you shoot. Manufacturers aren't important, paint to barrel match is.
Reliability, simplicity, durability, value, unique, and performance.
Performance using CO2 and uses more air than the average marker.
I searched around for a while before buying this marker. I read the online reviews and compared charts and diagrams. I wanted a non-electro marker that was easy to maintain but could keep up with the big boys. ICD says this guy will kick out eight rounds a second. I wouldn't know because my trigger finger isn't that fast and my wallet thanks me for it. When I need to rip out some rounds I can though.<p>
I have been playing paintball for about 10 years now as a recballer. I value reliability of a marker over insane ROF and the Desert Fox has lived up to my expectations. Field strip the marker with one thumbscrew. Clean it thouroughly in less than 5 minutes. The thing is machined too, so all the diving and crawling I do has yet to phase it. Since it is a blow forward there are no external cocking knobs or open ports waiting to be fouled. It is simplicity and reliability defined.<p>
Performance is great, I can kick out enough paint to put people's heads down or deliver a precise three shot burst. People tell me it is quiet, but I have a feeling it is more a factor of the Freak barrel than the marker. For the money nothing you buy will outshoot this marker reliably (I have seen many spiders turn into blenders when the e-frames are cranked to thirteen rounds/second).<p>
The downside to the Fox is that it performs poorly on CO2 even with an expansion chamber and it can eat more gas (CO2 or compressed air) than your average marker. This is a trait inherited from it's cousin the Automag. That being said, it is MUCH more air efficent than a Mag. I don't like the powerfeed, as I like sighting down the barrel, but all markers are coming with them now so you are kind of stuck unless you buy a Tippmann.<p>
The other markers I considered at the time of purchase were the Tippmann A-5 which was a bit pricey at the time and had almost zero use at the time. Tippmann makes some mistakes (remember the Factory F/A?), so I wanted to stay away from that one until others were the guinea pigs. Turns out it is solid, but I still like the compact size of the Fox. I also looked into cockers, but the trigger tugging and the millions of moving parts scared me off as well as the list of upgrades that "had" to be purchased with it. Finally, I looked at Automags, and found nothing that wasn't on the Fox for far less money and disliked the gas inefficency and the trigger. Mags are more expandable, but by the time you drop all that money you may as well buy a high end electro. The Fox and it's feature set won me over.<p>
All things said this is a great marker. I love that it comes out of the box with almost all the upgrades that you will ever need. Some people love buying add ons, and this isn't the marker for them. If you are stuck w/ CO2 get a A-5 or a 98 Custom. If you are looking for a reliable marker that is going to perform well and last without all the hype look no further.