I've only had my Alti-III for about 4 months now and it has worked fine. What really impressed me is their service. I bumped into Kathy - the president of Alit-2 at a "conference" last weekend. She was offering free calibration / lens replacement. It was fascinating to see how far the altimeter is off (500 feet @ 15k down to 40 feet @ 3k) and good to know that my altimeter was within the acceptable tolerances. Keep up the great service!
I learned on a Safires and recently purchase one I that I've flown before loaded at 1.3:1. They are a fun canopy to fly and versatile (docile or aggressive - depending how you fly). The only trick is landing them. My advice is to make sure you flare completely in order to find the sweet spot. I was talking to an Icarus rep. last week and found out 2 interesting things: 1) A Safire 170 is smaller than a Spectre/Sabre 170. Icarus is changing this because PD has more market share and in the future the sizes will match up. This isn't necessairly a "bad" on Icarus. PD gave a presentation and one of the topics was on how difficult it is to fairly/evenly measure canopy size. 2) Icarus will be modifying the steering lines on the Safire to be more like the configuration on the Crossfire. Many people wrap the steering lines once around their hands because the "sweet spot" is at the very end of the flare. The Safire is a great first canopy!