This is my firt HF transceiver and without an endless pot of cash it is likely to be in the shack for a very long time! looking at some of the e-bay sales it seems to hold its value well. Sorry it's a stock image but mine looks surprisingly similar!
When looking for a transceiver cost was a main consideration but also were the features, build quality and reviews. The IC-718 fitted in with everything I needed and has proven to be a great rig. It's probably easier to say what it hasn't got: FM, pre-installed CW filters, DSP (I think it did in the US). For lots of reviews - so I don't have to do one - See the Eham pages.
From my point of view the functions are easy to understand but learning how to set memories took a while, probably beacause I was not used to the Icom system but now it is second nature.
The receiver is excellent but the IF filters are too wide for serious CW work - I have now installed the W4RT 500 Hz collins mechanical filter and it makes all the difference. Cheaper than the FL-52A (but I can't compare performance) it is worth every penny (sorry cent!).
The only slight niggle I have is that the internal SWR meter doesn't really kick in until you are at 30 Watts and I'd rather get a reading on a lower power. Hey, I like to give the PA a life!
Oh - one more niggle. The volume control is a pain for CW, it's either nice and quiet or loud, there is very little in between, I suppose it is controlled via a voltage controlled amplifier and the settings are off, a few have complained of similar and I've seen no fix for it. I will be building a mixer for all the rigs soon so I can feed them into a single speaker/headphone, with separate controls an improvement should be seen.