I'll second the Garmin 60csx. I've used mine for two seasons in PA and Colorado with the topo maps and love it. Real fast satellite aquisition and it has an electronic compass. You can get one on amazon for $279.00 with free shipping and no tax. The topo maps are about $60.00.
I have the Garmin vista HXC and love it. I use it out west and in Mo. with no problems. I can still receive a signal while it is in my pocket. On my last elk hunt 2 guys in camp had a Dakota and the 60csx. The dakota is way over priced and the touch screen could not be used while wearing gloves. I played with it around camp one day and I did not care for it.
The 60csx was a good unit, but it would loose the signal if placd in a pocket or pack, easy navigation with the 60 and it came with some nice options. Neither of the units would link as fast as the Vista HX-c.
And the Dakota did like to eat the batteries.
Just a few of my observations on both units.
I just bought the Garmin 400t, used it in North Dakota recently with ample sunlight. I wasn't using it for extended periods of screen staring but I didn't seem to have much of a problem with seeing the screen. I read all those reviews about screen display too. It didn't seem like a big deal to me once I adjusted the backlight and such.
On another note, I think the Oregon is one of the most intuitive GPS models out there. This was my first GPS and I have yet to look at the instructions. Very easy to use.