I really have nothing to compare this canister filter to, as this is the first canister filter I've ever had. I bought it when I set up my 55 gallon freshwater tank and after much research and after I'd grown tired of constantly buying filter cartridges on several different types of hang-on-back filters, I decided to make the change to a canister. I got this filter set up (which was rather simple) and operating, I have decided I will never go back to a HOB filter for this large of a tank again! The water quality is absolutely superb, crystal clear, and with all of the various stages of filtration, I am certain I've never had such healthy fish or plants! Even after stirring up the substrate during a water change, after I plug the filter back in, the water is cleared in less than 2 minutes. The hoses are a little bit too rigid, though, which makes it kind of hard to attach to the holders...you definitely have to have some strong hands to keep the hose's shape to secure it in the holder to be attached to the tank. The canister itself is QUITE heavy when you go to drain it, obviously since it's been filtering water. You'll be quite surprised how dirty the floss filters were (well, mine were) after a couple months of use. All of the parts disassemble easily and can be cleaned under the tap. Just make sure you don't wash away all of your beneficial bacteria!
I love this filter, and I hope it lasts a LONG LONG time! If/when I have to replace, I will definitely get another Fluval. It is SUPER SUPER quiet!