I view reloading tools the same as I do anything else – they’re tools. Some companies, like Lee, they make good primers/deprimers and dies at a reasonable cost for first time reloaders. Whirl is correct about their presses – they’re adequate, but not bomb-proof. There are other companies that make superior presses. My own reloading stuff is a mish-mash of companies and components… Which, I think, reflects my own preference to use what I think is best and hang the name brand loyalty…
74’s comments were directed towards portability. To me, that means it needs to make decent cartridges and be small and light enough for portability. Bench mounted rigs are pretty much non-portable, so I’m going to ignore them…
I mentioned the Lyman 310 tool in other posts. Lyman still makes it. Die selection is pretty skimpy, but other caliber dies exist and are out there for sale, if one cares to look. Yeah, sure it doesn’t have the flash and capacity of the shiny Progressive presses, but
a) It doesn’t have to be mounted anywhere to work. You don’t need a bench.
b) If you’re on the move, it’s small and light.
c) Most importantly, it MAKES DECENT CARTRIDGES.
There’s drawbacks. It’s slow. It’s a pain to use compared to the bench mounted models – even the single stage ones. I’ve never tried to full-length resize a spent rifle case with one, but I think one would need the hand strength of a Mountain Gorilla to do more than a couple – those handles are mighty short. Not much leverage.
The Lee hand press has the advantage of being able to full length resize rifle cases. I have found that if you put it between your knees like the old Thigh-Master, it’s loads easier to full length resize anything… (Hey YOU! Yeah YOU! I see you laughing! You ain’t foolin’ anyone… if it’s stupid, but works, then it ain’t stupid. So stop laughing.)
The only other alternative I can think of is the Lee Loader. The older ones are made of better stuff – steel and brass as opposed to the newer ones having some plastic. I’ve never used them to load ammo, but I’ve handled both old and new and if I had to choose between the two, I choose old.
The only other thing I can think of, for small, light, portable reloading, is to have someone with the machinist skills make you a dedicated set for your personal use.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1