I have the original Alto Quilt Cut and love it. I purchased it on Ebay for $100.00. I understand the Quilt Cut II has been greatly improved with a longer measuring ruler and more angles. But for what I use it for, I'm very happy with the original. I find my cuts are much more accurate and I don't know if it's the mat or what, but my rotary cutter seems to cut better on it than the Fiscars mat I have. So, anyone looking for this system might want to check EBay and see what is available. Although I agree with the OP that the full price for the cutting system really isn't bad.