I have tried other flat irons and this one is by far the best. So good in fact that when unfortunately I dropped it, I had to buy another! I could have tried another more expensive one or another brand but I did not! This one heats up really fast. I usually have it on the highest setting. I have naturally wavy hair and when I decide to straighten it, I want it really straight! When this heats up it is really hot and gets the job done. I like the auto shut off feature. There definately have been times I have been late for work and went rushing out the door and forgot to turn it off or unplug it. Come home and go "oops!" forgot to shut it off.... So, I love having that auto shut off feature! I am a very budget conscious person as well, but I don't like to give up quality. This flat iron to me is quite reasonably priced!