circular saw - Hitachi C7SB2 - any comments

After inspecting the $200-and-under table saws, I've decided to get sawhorses, clamps and a circular saw. I'm looking for a corded 7-1/4" circular saw to cut: dimensional pine (up to 2x4, 1x12), plywood and MDF. Currently for cutting I'm limited to a jigsaw and handtools (backsaw, hacksaw) - so this will become primary saw.
Do any of you have experience with the Hitachi C7SB2? Your thoughts?
How important is having an "electric brake"?
What should I consider?
Beyond the included blade, what saw blades are useful to have of "general woodworking"?
thanks, Sathyan
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