I have recently received a 178C from the States at 470 Euros delivered all in, including external antenna and sonar sounder.
No VAT to pay.
It is silly to say that if it's cheap, then there must be a catch. I have been buying stuff from the US for over 10 years now, as I refuse to pay double for the same thing in the UK or France.
Companies like Garmin have to wake up to the fact that not everyone is stupid, and why do they think they can make people here pay double?
IF, big IF, customer service was EXCELLENT then I would think twice about buying abroad. But most of the time, for whatever product, it is very poor, so where is the incentive to buy locally?
In any case, if it does blow up/fail, then 9 times out of 10, you can just buy another one and still be quids in.
I wouldn't buy from China - much too dodgy. Buy from the US, from someone with good feedback and reputation.
Delivery was 3 days by the way.
The 178C looks excellent, and although it's installed and working I haven't been out with it yet as the weather has been awful.
If anyone is over in Brittany, visit Doaurnenez harbour, there is a large friendly dolphin in residence.