If you don't spend $6,000 on a water softener, then you don't really care about
The only advantages I see to an expensive Kinetico are that you'll have soft
water 24 hours a day, as opposed to 22 hours a day with other softeners, and the
thing will work even during electrical blackouts.
Get the 2nd cheapest type of conventional softer sold by Home Depot, Sears, or
Lowe's, about $400-600, which will be a demand regulated, timer delayed model.
The very cheapest type of softeners don't have demand regulation.