I started off looking at the missions and was at the point of buying, just wanted to see which colour went better with the board, then started reading about canted footbeds which ruled out the missions, looked at the cartels but got put off by the lift the reflex gives.
The alloy footbed is one of the things putting me off the Capos, I keep reading that people don't like them, which I've never read about composite ones. That and the durability of the toe straps.
I'm just a little unsure as the formulas are response 6, company are 7, but my current Missions, (circa 2001), are stiffer than any I've found in shops so I don't know what modern ones are comparable, (and I can't try them out first).
I like the fact 2012 company have got a features that have been passed down to the formula for this year, (does that mean they're better?).
If you don't like canted footbeds, do not buy K2s. All of their bindings come stock with canted beds, I think it's like a 3 degree rise?
That's one of the main reasons I dislike K2s.
As for companies "trickling" down technology to lower models, many companies do that. Burton, for example, does that with their entire binding line. The highback on the 2013 Custom is the same highback that was brand new on the Cartel a few years back. It doesn't necessarily mean the binding is "better", but why not take the tech (which obviously works, or it wouldn't have been trickled down) at a lower price point?
If you just want a simple, no bullshit binding with everyone you need to ride and nothing you don't, look at Union's line. The bindings are bomb proof as well. I have a pair of Forces from 6-7 years ago that my friend rides, and they're still going strong.