My biggest problem with Cinch is that toe strap is typically fixed. Great for getting in cause it doesn't migrate. But even maxed out in the adjustment you do not get enought toe overhang on the binding to properly leverage your edges. This is not a problem with any flow.
I'd get last years Essence if you really wanna save money. However the upgrades for this year are phenomenal. Those real ratchets are great. You can still get out and back in like a regular binding with last years using the mini ratchtes, but he full ratchets on this years are just that much better.
Thank you all for the tips!! I'm going to the Windy City ski/snowboarding show so I'll def keep my eyes open for both 2011/2012 and 2013 models and try them on.