Real neat device, built in the USA and solid as a tank. I took pictures of it and posted here, (inside electronics/outside) http://www.twitpic.com/photos/hugodrax
The unit has gasketing on the battery compartment which is on the top and batteries are easy to remove and replace. The bottom part is attached with two stainless steel latches and it also has gasketing to protect the electronica. The switches on the top also have gaskets
The meter face is glass and it has a real nice large high quality analog meter. The internals are all SMT electronics and it seems they use silver interconnects. Everything is high quality build.
The 44-9 wand is the best for general purpose, it is very sensitive and will give you a nice idea of what your background radiation is, and you can then figure your baseline. Anything higher and something is going on. At least you will know way ahead.
Lots of websites sell overpriced Geiger counters that I see retail for 1100 bucks new but are old refurbished devices or made in china/russia hardware of dubious accuracy.
For 763 bucks right from the manufacturer you can get a Model 3 with cable and with the 44-9 wand with calibration certificates.
Anynow I get average of 36-40 counts per minute background radiation.
The owner of the company still runs the company and it is about 50 years (he started it in 62 I believe) and the story on the company is quite interesting on how the whole thing begun. Anyhow nice to own a high quality piece of electronics built by a small family business here in the good old USA.