Like people have said, you can always start out slow and add down the road via networking, at least with HBird. That is the route I went with my boat, although it was a tough decision in the end. I really liked the Lowrance touch technology. For me, the priority was the trolling motor, as I was upgrading from an almost 20 year old foot control 12/24 volt Evinrude. IMHO hard to beat what Minnkota has to offer. So being that Johnson Outdoors owns HBird, Minnkotta, and Lakemaster, my decision was easier. Good and bad, there is always new technology being developed out there. Either at a savings, or a price, depending on what you want to spend. As stated above, I would for sure buy the biggest screen you can afford now.