I own the 185, and have used it for about a year now. As a newbie
woodworker, it is certainly my own limitations, not the saw's, "holding
me back" at this point. And it will be that way for a long time I
imagine, even as my skills grow. I can't think I'll "outgrow" this saw
in 6 years time.
I had a friend help me with setup. He owns a PM-66, and he was quite
impressed with the fit and substansiveness of the 185. And I don't
think you'll find a better stock miter gauge on ANY other contractor's
saw; cast iron, solid, and spring-loaded bearings in the "T" make for a
rock-solid fit in the track.
I did get the 52" rails with it. There was some hole-misalignment on
the front of the TS top where the front rail was to attach; I had to
simply enlarge two of the predrilled holes on the TS to get proper
alignment. Otherwise, the saw went together easily. The owner's
manual sucks. Not that you couldn't figure it out yourself, but if you
have any woodworker friends who have setup a saw before, try to lure
them over for an afternoon!
Regarding the General 220, while I haven't used one I'll just make two
points: it is certainly better in dust "retention" than the 185, but
you'll want a DC just the same; so don't go thinking that it'll make
any difference in your DC needs. If you do opt for it for other
reasons, get the "C" version with the General "T" fence - not the base
model w/ the aluminum fence. The General "T" is a good Bies clone
(some will disparage it because it doesn't have easily removable faces,
but you can build a carriage that rides over it / clamps on with all
the fancy t-track / holddowns you want...). I can't speak to better
vibration dampening on the 220 either; I have yet to put on the link
belt I bought for my 185; one of these days...
... again, a year ago (when I bought), here in the States, the GI 185
was definitely the best bang for the buck. Things might be different
for you up there.