Well, nothing beats the good-ole Hakko FX-888. I was thinking about buying one of those, but here prices are through the roof. Something like a used 888 would cost upwards of $250, and chinese clones are wa-a-ay to far off in terms of QA.
Though, I do have a 907 clone handle, which is nearly identical to the original one. Wanted to make a controller for it, but it's been on a backburner for the past 4 or so years. Got all the parts, made a schematic and firmware (for ATMega 8... in AVR assembly
) awhile ago, but I'm just lazy. Then I got obsessed with inductive irons, but those are pricey too. Something like Metcal or Hakko FX-100 are near impossible to find and will cost you a kidney. Qucik 202D sold out pretty much as soon as reviews were up, and seem to appear at local stores only when I'm out of money. Then these chinese pencils appeared, and induction soldering was pretty much dead to hobbyists - warmup time nearly immediate, temperature control and heat transfer is immaculate, form factor is better than anything that ever existed, and you get portability and flexibility.
Tested my pencil yesterday at the office, and I think it kicks up to 320C under 10sec while powered off a generic ASUS power brick. At 300 it's pretty much ready to go for small stuff and leaded solder, and at 350 it can do relatively fat PCB tracks and power planes on multi-layer boards. Cools down in less than 2min, perfect for field work. Also, there are firmware mods for this iron which add cool things like "Turbo Mode", activated only when you hold a button - basically another nail in a coffin for low-to-mid-range induction soldering stations.
I have a brand-new 24V PSU somewhere at the office, but I couldn't find it for a proper test. I guess it ran away along with my 12V 5A Seasonic )))