We have been looking into getting a spa for about 6 months before we got lucky with our 2004 Vista purchase (got it for $2500 on a distressed sale). I looked at Master Spas, Dimension One, Sundance, Cal Spas and finally Hot Springs. Of all the manufacturers out there, Hot Springs tended to have the most soothing and sensual design.
The LSX model of Master Spas was very nice until the salesman opened up the front panel. Very cheap build quality. Dimension One makes a very nice spa but I find the Vista's 500 gallon volume to be just adequate so anything less in volume, like the Chairman's 400 gallon capacity, would have been too small for our family of 4.
The Cal Spas Atlantic was a very close second to the Hot Springs in the design of the seatsand overall aesthetics. The Sundance models were nice but didn't grab me like the Hot Springs tubs.
Build quality of our Vista is awesome. I pulled off the access panel and, just like a BMW, everything is well placed and very accessible. Since our Vista was two-years old, we ended up putting in about $600 to refurbish it to like-new status (new Tri-x filters, new main & aux. control panels, exterior siding paint and headrests). We could have gotten away with just replacing the filters but I wanted the spa to look like new.
The rotary jets are my favorite as they give a very thorough massage action. The Motomassage, footjets and precision jets are excellent as well. The set of jets I am contemplating changing out are the Soothing Sevens; these jets just seem too weak.
Another feature I enjoy on the Hot Spring models is their LED lighting. Hot Springs uses an opaque white diffuser between the LED and the water. What this does is it creates a very uniform color dispersion in the water which creates a soothing atmosphere. The other spa manufactueres lighting that I saw used a clear diffuser which allowed you to see the individual LEDs on the light module. You'll know what I mean when you turn on the Luminescence lighting in the Hot Springs showroom; I think that feature is what finally sold me.