I don't think the Valentine is overpriced... it's worth the cash, especially if you're in a big city like Houston or Dallas. Knowing where everything is, how strong the signals are, and how many are tracking you really IS useful.
i've had 9 tickets, one driving too fast ticket, and i've had an escort and a valentine 1. since the V1 i haven't had a single speeding ticket because of its early warning and sensitivity. the escort passport doesn't even come close to the power of the V1 and no other radar detector does either. notice, Car and Driver is one of the few reputable places actually doing radar detector tests and their reputation is more important than the ad money they could possibly get from valentine 1.
you always get what you pay for, and the valentine 1 is the best radar detector on the market, hands down.