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New Replacement Boiler Recommendation

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Posted by Del on January 13, 2007 at 16:45:54:

I want to replace a 40 yr boiler & water heater with a new more efficient boiler and indirect heater. Because the boiler will be going all year long to heat domestic water, I confused as to which option to go with (maybe there are more!). I'm finishing my basement, so I want to replace it with a direct vent model that doesn't use the air in the basement for combustion:
1) Non-condensing model, like the WeilMclain CG, Utica USC, or Burhnam SCG models - all about 85-87 efficient.

2) Condensing model - like the Viessmann Vitoden 200, Hydrotherm GX-150, Smith GT-150, Monitor MZ, or NTI Trinity, or Munchkin model. (I'm trying to stick with either a cast iron or stainless steel Heat Exchanger, rather than an alumninum HX.

I know the condensing/modulating models will cost more, so will that added cost make up for the diffence in efficiency over, say, 10 years of heating and hot water??
Which models in both categories have you all had the best luck with? Which would I be best avoiding?
And, lastly, once a model is chosen how does one go about finding an installer that has the most experience with that model, which I assume is a valid concern....expecially with the more complex ones.

Thanks for your assistance,
Signed - Stuck in analysis-paralysis

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