After a lot of deliberating and stalking all the information I could get on the Grand, I finally went for it. I was a little weary, since I had bought the LightSpeed last year and ended up returning it. I have a ganglion cyst in my wrist that returned after surgery, so I know that anything I can do to minimize stress on it is going to help lengthen my career.
So anyway.. when the Grand first arrived, I spend a few days practicing with it when I could, and would flip flop between loving it and being insanely frustrated with it. I'd get writing and then all the sudden I'd starting fumbling all over the keys, mistraning all over. After a couple of weeks, I decided it just wasn't going to work for me. I started to compare it to my 8000 and realized that part of the design of the Grand is that the vowel keys bars are extended, so the keys sit out further from the other keys. Because of that, the vowels press down further than on my 8000. I have really small hands, and extending my thumb is one of the most aggrevating things for my wrist. So I packed it all up, sent Jason an email saying it wasn't working, and planned to ship it back to him.
Jason got back to me the next day and we ended up talking on the phone about what tweaks would make it work for me. He suggested that we try raising the vowel keys up to the level of the other keys. So for the next couple days, I triple stacked the keypads on it and tried it out. It was a little awkward with that many pads, but I could tell it felt a lot better. So I sent it back, and now I've had it back and been practicing on it for a few days, just an hour or so a day, and it's PERFECT! It doesn't feel awkward or even different anymore, and my wrist feels great.
A couple other thoughts.. I LOVE the split number bar. I've always bit a bit sloppy with the number bar, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't like it, but it's actually helping my numbers to be cleaner. The "semi metallic" color I got isn't really metallic at all. I was afraid to go with the metallic colors because I didn't want it to look like a bass boat, but if I was to do it again, I'd go metallic. The German silver that I picked does look nice though, and it's very sleek and professional looking. I was also pleasantly surprised that it came with a good quality Linksys bluetooth adapter for my laptop, so I didn't have to go buy one of those. And it can connect to eight bluetooth devices, so I can use it to add a wireless keyboard or mouse.
Bottom line, I highly recommend the Grand. The quality is great, the flexibility that they offer for customizing it awesome, and the customer service that I got from Jason even before I committed to buying it was great. I think they're the only company that I've dealt with in the steno world that responds to emails either the same day or the next day. Sometimes even within an hour or less. Thanks Jason!