epd68, I have two of the StealthCam Prowlers, two StealthCam 540IR's, two Stealthcam 430IR's, one Cuddeback NOflash, two Moultrie D40's and two Bushnell Trophy Cams. I have owned just about every game camera you can list except some of the smaller name brands. I even went as far as to buy one of the Wildgame Innovation cams last year. They were cheap enough and that's exactly what they are, cheap!
The Prowler Cams are good cameras when they are working. These cams have spent more time getting shipped back and forth to Stealth Cams than in the woods. I have one that is working good right now, but who knows when it's going to quit again.
The 540IR cams have been pretty good cameras for what they cost. The battery life isn't the greatest, but they will get about 1000 - 1200 pics on a set depending on the number of daylight and dark photos I get.
The 430IR cams are about the same as the 540IR's. They have worked for me for several years now without any trouble. As you stated before, the trigger speeds on these cams aren't the best, but they work well on scrapes and food.
The CuddeBack cams, I thought these were the best out when I first got them. They do have a fast trigger, take great pics, and seemed to have a pretty good battery life, but they are costly. I paid more for one of these cams then I did for two of the others. They are still working for me and they are a few years old now. I get about 1500-2000 pics on a set of batteries.
The Moultrie D40 cams are what they are. They work fine, the pics have enough detail that you can make out what the deer is (not very good quality), and the battery life is ok at best. These are the older versions and take a 6v rechargeable battery. They will give me about 2 weeks worth of poor grade pics. They still work though and these are the oldest cams I have.
Now, last year I decided to give the New Bushnell Trophy Cams a try. I talked to one of the rep's at the QDMA Convention in Louisville, KY last year and he stated Bushnell's reputation on the fact that these were the best game cams EVER. I bought two of them right there. I put them out the next week and had high hopes for them. I never had a game cam that worked off of AA batteries and didn't think these would be enough to keep these little cams running very long. Boy was I wrong! I think I paid around $200 each for these cams. That is about half of what I paid for one of the CuddeBack's and they will out do the CuddeBack cams hands down. The pictures are every bit as good, the trigger speed is good enough that I could use them on trails with no problems, the video is great too and the battery life is just simply amazing! I have gotten over 5000+ pics from one set of 8 AA batteries out of one of these cams. These were the cheap, regular Energizer batteries. These cams have worked flawlessly for me and saved me so much money in batteries compared to ALL of the others, they have practically paid for themselves. They are still running right now. They worked right through all of this cold weather when the others had shut down. I changed the batteries out about a month or so ago with the Lithium batteries. Yes, these batteries cost more, but there have been other who say they have gotten twice the life out of these batteries. The batteries I took out of them where still showing life but I was getting concerned because it had been over 7 months. I don't think you will be seeing any commercials with CuddeBack doing head to head comparisons with these cams any time soon. You owe it to yourself to look into these cams. I don't work for Bushnell or anything like that. I just am the kind of person who believes that when you run up on a really great product, you should share what you know with others. These are the best cams on the market as of right now. They will have all of the other cam makers in a panic to get better products out.
Hunt as though your life depended on it, because one day it just might!