Plain and simple, I love calculators. Yes, I have both Matlab and Mathematica running on my multiprocessor workstation but calculators have always had a special place in my heart. Since high school, I've firmly been in the HP camp and like many, I think the HP41C remains one of the finest calculators ever made. But the HP legacy started its sad decline with the 28C and the bottom fell out with the HP48G, perhaps the worst calculator HP has ever made. (It literally can take seconds to add two numbers... what could they have been thinking?)
All of that being said, I decided to venture into the TI camp, if only because they still take calculators seriously. I was dubious, however, because their machines seem designed for high school students rather than professional scientists/engineers, and this is reflected in the lack of high-end software packages available for them. Nonetheless, I don't think since the HP41 line have any calculators attracted so much interest or had so large a community built around them as have the recent TIs.
The Voyage 200 is something of a tour de force. It is based on the Motorola 68000, the same processor found in the original Macintosh and many other popular computers. It is programmable both in TI Basic and in 68000 assembly, the latter of which has lead to a rather impressive library of available games and applications that all run amazingly quickly given their platform. This whole software world is somewhat muddled by the fact that TI has released a series of operating system upgrades and patches for this calculator and wading the compatibility waters is very confusing for the uninitiated. (For example, for HP aficianados, it is quite possible to run an extremely well done RPN interface on this calculator, but it requires that you find & download both the RPN assembly program and HW2 AMS 2 TSR support (h220xTSR) if you're using the latest version of the operating system, AMS 2.09. When was the last time you worried about what operating system your calculator was running??)
Another troublesome point about this calculator is the documentation is shockingly bad. Really, it is just plain awful. It comes with a thin, almost useless manual, and you'll have to read through 20+ pages just to find out how to add 1+1. Haven't they ever heard of a "getting started quickly" guide? There are several hundred pages of manuals on CD and on the web, but in general, there are written very poorly indeed. Coming from the world of professionally written documentation for systems like Mathematica and Matlab, I realize just how lucky we are that those companies take documentation very seriously and write far simpler manuals for much more complex systems.
All in all, however, I think the Voyage 200 is the best thing going in the calculator world today. It's wonderful to once again have a calculator whose capabilities are as much fun to discover as it is to use. I doubt I'll ever find time for assembly programming on this beast, but it warms my heart to know that I could.