Lucky Me!! I got a new Garmin 310XT for Christmas!! And not a day too soon as my 205 recently passed into the after world. It is the end of the world for the big blue running watch. I know there are even newer and niftier models out, but this one fits my wants and needs. And it's pretty.
I am liking it so far--very satisfied!! It is slightly smaller than the 205/305, and is more balanced on my wrist.
The 205 also rubbed on my bony wrist (about the only part of me that does not have padding) and would make a sore after a dozen miles or so especially on a warm day. I liked that the 205 sent a couple of lengths of the straps though.
Another couple of improvements are that the 310 picks up satellites much quicker than the 205/305. I can be in the house, strap it on and head out the door, and by the time I hit the driveway, I have a signal. It beeps like the 205, although faintly. But it also vibrates after each lap and I always feel that. The uploads to my PC are now wireless. An antennae plugged into a USB port links to the watch and the uploads are quick. A new Garmin Connect site is more user-friendly with many more nerdy details to view. The charger is different--a clamp with two diodes that must hit the right spots on the back of the watch. It actually is easy and works great. It is less likely to have the watch slip off the charger, which happened frequently with the 205 cradle.
But best of all, this model boasts a 20 hour battery life. That means I can run 100K and have power left over. I doubt that I'll get all the way through a 100 on a charge, but 85-90 miles is not out of the question. At that point in a race, I don't even care if I even own a Garmin.
If you are wanting all the gadgets that can be bought for this watch, you can spend $350+. But for me, who will never use the heart rate monitor, the foot pods for treadmill running, or the quick-release clamps for a bike, the 310XT can be bought for $250 or less online. Santa found mine for $207 with free shipping.
I am thinking me and that virtual partner feature might have some smack talk to deal with this coming year.