One of the other choices I look are what frequencies can the radio cover. When I check out the websites I seem to be drawn to the amateur radios that cover the high frequencies as well as the vhf and uhf frequencies. The only thing that stops me is the cost of the radios in that category. I will just have to save up my pennies.
My preferences seem to be with Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom. One of my favorites is the Yaesu FT-857D mobile radio. It gets very good reviews at Eham.net, which are up around 4.5 out of 5. One it's in a small package, Covers a wide range of frequencies and puts out 100 watts. It covers the HF frequencies, 6 meter 50 mhz band, the 144 Mhz and the 430 Mhz band. For More information check out the radio at this link http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&ProdID=698&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0 . Here is a picture of it below.