i don't have any experience with any of those wheels but i haven't heard anything bad about it when it comes to being a first purchase
there are also babe wheels which are in the same price range and alot of people seem to like those
here is a long review i pulled from ravelry on the fidelis
[COLOR="DarkSlateGray"]Accessories: The wheel comes standard with orifice hook, three bobbins (two at 6:1 ratio, one that is a 6:1 and a 9:1 combined), and a lazy kate that holds two bobbins. Extra bobbins in both the 6:1 and the 9:1 are available.
Description: This is a simple, functional, modern style wheel. Very cute, too! Very affordable. The pricing is in line with a Babe, but this is ever so much nicer in my opinion. I paid $178 for a single drive, Irish tension, single treadle wheel made of lovely red oak, hand finished with Danish oil and including three bobbins and a kate. What’s not to love? The wood is really nice, just pretty and glowing in person. Black and chrome metal wheel (possibly a bicycle wheel?). Weight is about 8 lb. Orifice height is 24 in. Height is 28 inches x 16 and 1/2 inches wide x 14 inches deep.
Strengths: This wheel suits my current needs exactly. The bobbins are HUGE; the seller says they will hold 4 oz at least, but I got 7 oz onto one with no problem. The hooks are spring clips that slide up and down the flyer, making it easy to evenly fill the bobbin. This is a sturdy little wheel; well balanced, spins perfectly, and just as advertized.
I don’t have to treat it like glass; in fact my 5 year old daughter is learning to spin on it right along with me (and doing an excellent job)! The orifice is 9/16, well suited for plying and novelty/bulkier yarns if that is your desire.
It is small and light enough to easily transport, though a bit unweildly as I don’t have a cover or case. I might sew one up out of canvas. I put it in the back seat of my car and fastened it in with a seatbelt to take it to my mothers’ house.
It comes pretty much assembled; I had it up and running within a few minutes.
Weaknesses: I will not be spinning lace weight any time soon with the available ratios. The wheel can take fast and intense treadling (with a bit of shaking), but my knee can’t! Luckily this suits me, as I intend to spin to knit, and wouldn’t bother to spin weights I wouldn’t use. Lace is not my thing.
Also, be aware that you might sometimes need to lubricate the flyer before you sit down to spin. It is easy to tell when it needs a drink, as the flyer gets slower and a little ‘boggy’.
Overall: I love this wheel. I am having a blast with it, and am pleasantly surprised by the quality I obtained for my money. I will purchase any accessories that are offered in the future. I have been spinning almost non-stop like a woman posessed since I got it.
Heavenly Handspinners is a small family side business, and the care put into Fidelis is apparent. They are well made and for the price, these little wheels are a labor of love. Customer support is great. The seller (Jan Ford) is prompt, friendly, and eternally patient and helpful with my bone-headed newbie questions.
It is my opinion that the Fidelis wheels are an excellent option for those of us who would like to begin with a nice little wheel, but can’t/don’t want to necessarily spend $500. Yay small business![/COLOR]
hope that helps!