I don’t know about the expensive Swiss Franc, but the Element should do about € 100,- cheaper than the Pulse!
So € 299,- would indeed be a good target.
I don’t think they are on sale yet. We have a couple of samples (with print on them in bold ‘SAMPLE’!)right now and they perform OK.
How have you found the Element? It sounds like they’ve eliminated a lot of the stuff you don’t really need (apart from the direct indicator not pointing behind but I think this is the subject of an Ortovox German patent). They say it is aimed at the occasional user but it seems that is pitching it too low, probably for marketing reasons. Victim selection is also no longer possible, but then maybe multi-victim searches are fairly rare http://pistehors.com/news/ski/comments/0817-multiple-avalanche-burials-rarer-than-you-think/ but this might be a deal breaker for guides and leaders.
It’s supposed to be more or less the same apart from lacking the advanced mode, so no analog mode, as you say no victim selection which also means no triage info about victims moving. It’s software upgradeable which I reckon is essential in devices like this and I think it works with the same fleet management software as the Pulse.
I’d have said the stuff you get in advanced mode is fantastic but is more likely than not to get 99% of recreational users in serious trouble. The advanced mode is more difficult to use, in my opinion, than using something like an F1 and requires more practise. If you can use it though it’s incredible. The analog range is incredible, if you want to sweep a debris field to determine if you’ve any contacts at all then that’s the way to do it.
We have pulses, mine’s in advanced mode but otherwise basic mode is just fine.
We’ve got 5 sets of gear right now but it looks, based on bookings, that we need three more sets or four if I retire the Tracker 1 we still use. I think there’s a lot of advantage to me to have different models, at the right price, so the ARVA looks a good deal and I’ve always wanted a Pieps DSP and I may even get an iProbe