The S & S is an extremely well built machine, the guys who make them are top notch machinists. With the time they must have invested they are just getting paid for their work, it's up to the consumer to decide if they feel something cheaper can do the same job. Gold Standard is actually designed by Steve McCredie, he has them built and they are sold through Dan Rinehart and Matuska. The dakota pro is a pretty machine, if they'd beef it up a little and get rid of all those goofy little micro adjust screws, and the little thumb screws that hold the hood on they be onto something that would handle hard use. Aubrey pretty much listed it all, the only things I don't go along with him on is one, the motor size, I've run 1/2 horse motors for years with no trouble, and two, the powder coating, we do that and it holds up pretty good. I know it's not what you're asking about, but the one we built for McKenzie to sell until they bought Vandykes is a good solid machine for a taxidermist. If you want to shave from the right side of the machine like Aubrey does we can even flip the frame around so the motor is on the other side. Not sure where you're from, but anybody that buys one from us is welcome to come and spend a day in the tannery too.