Re: Progressive press requirements
I'll admit that I've never used anything but the 550 from Dillon, and I don't think I'd want to. I've not had one single moment of disappointment since purchasing it several years ago. When I first bought it, I was only reloading for 9mm and .45ACP that I used for IDPA. However, I've since added a few more pistol calibers AND it works great for my rifle calibers.
I don't use it as a progressive for rifle- I have a buddy with a 1050 that we use for bulk .223, but for my hunting and long range rifle loads (.243, .270, .308 supersonic, .308 subsonic, and .300win mag), I only use it to deprime and size the case and to seat the bullet. It's much like a single stage in this manner, but I have the flexibility of going progressive for other applications so I only need one press to do all of my work, which saves space on my bench for the other tools and crap needed for all the calibers I reload for!
It's rock solid to boot, and Dillon customer service is probably the best I've ever seen. Anywhere. Dillon is typically more $$ than other brands, but as the saying goes, "Buy once, cry once." I did get a little teary eyed when I got the bill for the press several years ago, but I have never cried because of this press. I know others with different brand presses that cannot say the same thing.