Re-doing my stereo, convinced myself to get a head unit - was going to just use the iPhone. But, I think it may be better to have head unit control rather than turning on the display every time I want to change songs, playlists, etc.
Am looking at the Alpine CDE-102, which is pretty bare bones. But it has the ability to turn off the internal amp, which is cool. Am going straight into WS-420 then 3 amps so no need for amplified signal. Pretty straightforward controls - don't need any bluetooth or HD anyway, just the ability to control iPhone 3G-S and occasionally a CD if someone brings one along...
This model is a "car" stereo unit - I'm wondering if there might be any visibility issues on the boat (occasionally in direct sunlight). Anyone have experience with a car deck in their boat - is visibility a problem? Marine HU's seem to be priced considerably higher. If you know of a good one please reply and let me know. I think Sony makes a pretty good one too - I'll check into that too.