Having only owned smaller and more consumer grade soldering irons, I needed an upgrade for some kit building I had planned. I found a lot of review of eHam and other web sites. In general, for the price and features, the Hakko stood out as the leader. So, off to HMC Electronics' web site and within just a couple of days I had my new Hakko 936 along with some additional tips.
As for HMC, they were great. I submitted my on-line order. Shortly after doing so realized I had not ordered one of the tips I wanted. I called and they quickly changed the order. It's also good to note that when I ordered, orders over $100 receive free shipping. The new soldering station and 3 additional tips took me to about $102, which saved the $10 dollar shipping fee.
The soldering station works great! Temperature control is very constant and the iron itself is well balanced in my hand. It's everything I expected and then some.
My first work with it was assemble of an OpenTracker+ kit. The soldering iron worked great and the tracker is fully functional.
Update, 6 years later
Still working great. I've used this station for all types of projects and it works well every time. Only regret would be that I didn't purchase a larger assortment of tips when I initially purchased the soldering station. They're still available at a decent price, just not as plentiful.
Still going! It's my bench soldering iron used for everything from circuit board assembly to coax connectors. I used it recently to repair some SMD components on an Alpha amplifier.