I know a few people who have X1s and love them. There are a few early ones that had some issues with the pressure sensors, but that all got cleared up.
In terms of the price, you need to also pay for firmware on top of the unit price... I'm not sure how much extra.
If you want to try a VR3, Chris, you are more than welcome to try mine when we go up to Goat Island. Incidentally, it is for sale at the bargain price of $850. Apart from being completely unintuitive, I love the VR3. I'm still thinking about just keeping it for sentimental reasons. VR3s have been replaced by the VRx, which ain't cheap.... but look at the NHeO that is basically a non-upgradeable VR3 that does trimix out of the box. They were on sale at Dive Gear Express for US$800.
You'll also find that most of the people you hang out with don't use mixed gas computers for serious dives - just a bottom timer. Things like the Suunto Vytec (or Vyper Air) are perfect in that sense... a gauge mode for deeper dives, then pop it into computer mode if you are just doing a little bit of deco or non-deco diving.
There is an alternative to the X1 and Shearwaters...... it's called the OSTC. Mine just arrived last week and I have yet to get it wet.
The OSTC is made by a German company, Heinrichs Weikamp. It's definitely not a mass appeal computer. When you turn it on, the entry screen basically says.... "This product has no warranty, not even the implied warranty that it is fit for use as a dive computer. There is no liability if you use it as such".
The OSTC is a funky little unit:
I ended up getting one of these for a couple of reasons:
1. It is very configurable to suit your preferences
2. It has an average depth display and a resettable stopwatch
3. It is a a trimix computer that has a gauge mode
4. It is "open source" and I am a geek
So you can download the computer code that makes it all work, look at it.... and if you want, change it.
The OSTC is really an OC computer, it does have a CC setpoint mode but no Fischer connection, so not much use for the leaky valve divers. You can get the big brother, the DR5... but it's not got a competitive pricing point in comparison with a Shearwater. It does look good, though: