I've been pondering lately what I need to get my lighting gear back together. See, I've been bleeding strobes. First the one 383 super ended up in the bay, then my MS-1 failed, then my other 383 super failed, which leaves me the Sunpak Digital Flash and my Sunpak 144PC. The Digital Flash is OK, albeit low in power and the 144PC is what I use to trigger flashes, so that's just not comfortable.
I was talking with some other photographers lately and the subject of lighting came up. The studio we were at had 6,000 watt seconds of power, including several power packs and some Alien Bees monolights. One of the other photographers asked me how I felt about the religious question of Packs vs. Monolights
I've been noticing some people finding my page on Google searching for more detailed information about the 383 Super. Since the 383 Super is a reasonably priced manually-controllable flash, suitable for both on and off camera use, it's experienced a little bit of a resurgence in recent times. Vivitar has responded as well by putting the 285 back on the market.
After reading Strobist, I almost purchased the recommended cheap old Nikon flash. However, I also wanted a flash to be carried around for impromptu situations that I could have better control over, I felt that the Nikon would be too specific to the Nikon cameras.