Handplanes -- L-N or Veritas?

I've decided to go for a serious #4 Smooth to replace my $35, 15-year-old Stanley. After years of tuning the plane and refining my technique, I feel like I'm at the point where better hardware will make a difference.
I've been looking at Lie-Nielsen and Veritas as candidates. The L-N seems to have the reputation of being the best on the planet. But I see some very good opinions voiced about the Veritas too (it seems to get high marks for its easy adjustability), and I've always been pretty impressed with Veritas tools.
I'm mostly a power-tool guy, not a neander (otherwise I'd have been asking this question ten years ago). I'm coming more and more to appreciate the pleasure and pride of a job done with muscle power and a sharp blade, but I wonder whether I'd really appreciate the difference between the $300-$350 L-N and the $215 Veritas, or be equally happy forever with either one.
Anybody care to offer experience and/or opinion? I'd especially like to hear from somebody who's familiar with both and can offer a comparison, but all advice is welcome.
Reply-to address is real John
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I have both LN &LV planes.
My LN 4 1/2 is a serious tool as is my LV BU jack with all of the irons. I say you just have to pay your money and go with the ones you want. I couldn't rate one over the other. I know I haven't helped. :-)
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<snip>

I was in Saratoga Springs last weekend for Totally Turning/NWA. Both LV and LN were there. LN more expensive and selling at full list plus sales tax. LV selling at -10%, no tax, and free shipping. Pretty simple choice for LV. Good quality, good price, great service.
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To level the field a bit, the Fine Tool Journal flyers that Clarence Blanchard had laying out in the booth next to L-N had $25 off on orders over $250 by mentioning code 262X...
John
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Missed that, but I also missed your classes :( Despite those misses, I had a great time. It was a real worthwhile event, well run and at a nice venue.
Jerry
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That's the problem with that show... too many stimuli that distort one's senses to the point where you know you missed stuff that was probably of interest... ;~)
John
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All my LN planes are a delight to see, hold, and use. So are my LV. Since the LV are considerably less expensive, my recent plane purchases have been from LV. -- Doug
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On Fri, 03 Apr 2009 10:32:32 -0500, Douglas Johnson wrote:

Woodcraft has come out with a new line of planes (Wood River). They're not quite to the LN/LV standard, but they look to be better than anything else out there and the price is reasonable. Worth a look.
And no, I don't work there any more :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Agreed; very nice planes for the money. Bedrock design, thick irons and chipbreakers, hefty design, nice hardwood handles, brass fittings, no cheesy stamped sheet metal parts, and a nice fit and finish. As I recall, the No. 603 equivalent was priced at $99, and that's hard to ignore...
--
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

And as has been discussed, they're pretty blatent copies of L-N. Their scraper and Boggs-style spokeshave are even more blatent.
Chris
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On Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:05:46 -0600, Chris Friesen wrote:

Chuckle. Most planes made today are copies of other planes :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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I have a low-angle LN block plane. Can't get any better than this.
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John wrote:

Judging from price, that would actually be a Holtey. :)

There are many other comparisons of the two online. In most cases it comes down to which one feels better for you in particular.
I've used both, own L-N chisels and several LV planes. For myself, I couldn't justify the additional cost of the L-N planes.
Chris
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I own both Lie-Nielsen and Veritas planes and find both are equally good quality products. I'd say go out and "test drive" each one you're interested in, but that's not going to be easy unless there's a woodworking show in your area and both companies are there.
If you have the finances--buy both. Use each for awhile and then decide which one you like best and sell the other one. Or keep them both. :) If you opt to sell one off later, you should have no problem doing so on either the big auction site or something like the classified forum at Sawmill Creek.
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I tried out the L-N and LV finishing planes at last years Totally Turning.
I told the L-N guy a wanted a plane that would eliminate the need for sandpaper. To be honest, I don't remember if the L-N guy showed me the #4 smoothing plane, or a scraper. I do remember that it wasn't adjusted correctly, and the guy couldn't fix it.
The Lee Valley plane was easy to use, and easy to adjust. And about $100 cheaper.
My sweetheart got me the Veritas® Bevel-Up Smoother Plane (after I indicated my choice) for my birthday.
I later bought two additional irons - the 25 degree (for end grain) and 50 degree (for bird's eye maple, etc.)
If, for no other reason, you might consider the bevel up Veritas. With the additional irons, you can have three planes in one.
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Thanks to all for helpful input.
I was hoping to be convinced that the Veritas was the way to go, but prepared to spend the extra $ for the L-N if need be. But most of what I've heard here (as well as most of what I've heard elsewhere) has pointed me in the direction that I was leaning already.
Veritas it wil be!
Thanks again, all
Reply-to address is real John
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John wrote:

Sometimes you have to buy from one company because no-one else makes what you want. I bought a L-N "jack rabbet", No. 10-1/4 Bench Rabbet Plane. Very expensive, but a joy to use, and since Record quit making them, the only way to get a new one of any quality. Yes, Anant has a cheap one, but I have never liked Anant quality, even though they appear to be improving, just as Jet and Grizzly eventually did.
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