I recently purchased a Raymarine S1000 autopilot. I paid $851 dealing with a very reputable seller who advertises on THT. (I was fortunate enough to be elligible for an additional Raymarine rebate under a short term promotion that is no longer in effect, but even at $851 I think this is quite a good buy.)
I installed the pilot myself in one day on my Parker 2320- just followed the step by step instructions. In my case I interfaced the unit with my Garmin 2010c gps chartplotter.
This past weekend was the shakedown cruise for the autopilot. The unit self calibrated in about 4 minutes and for the rest of the day it behaved flawlessly. It operated at speeds down to about 1.9 mph, and executed the pre-programmed trolling patterns exactly as advertised. When heading for a waypoint the boat tracked deadon straight, much straighter than I am capable of steering manually.
Having operated my own boats for the last 10 years without an autopilot, I am truly ecstatic about this relatively inexpensive addition. The installation was easy and the accuracy was remarkable. The trolling patterns seem quite useful. I don't know if the more expensive autopilots have subtle refinements that justify their added expense, but if my S1000 continues to perform as well in the future as it did on day 1, I will be more than happy with this unit. I can't wait to spend the money I saved by choosing the S1000 on the purchase and installation costs on the next modification of my boat.