I would be leery of kenrockwell's opinions on this. While I mostly like his factual reviews of certain things, this seems to be extremely biased towards the 600, and if you read his other pages, the 400. The 800 is a true workhorse, in that it will give you just about anything you'd need whenever you need it. He downplays the lack of an external battery pack connector for the 600, but there are things that you might need the quick refresh for; it's tough to say since you didn't provide any insight into what you shoot. If you're doing sports, either for pay or fun, it'd suck to miss a great shot because your flash didn't recycle fast enough. Also, for things like the "Idiotic repeating strobe mode," they may seem superfluous when you've never used them before, and you probably will only use them 1 out of every 1000 times you use the flash, but there are some really neat things you can do with them.
That being said, if you're here and asking about flashes, you probably aren't going to be running one into the ground very quickly, so if you can swing it, you might as well get an 800 and have it forever. If you _know_ you're never going to use it for more than standard strobe duty/don't have the money/are planning on getting more than one for remotes, I think you'd be safe with the 600
Actually I'd just say he's talking out of his arse. I like the one where he says the SB-600 recycles faster than the SB-800. Well yeah of course it does. He fired them both at full power. Given that the SB-800 is significantly more powerful can anyone else see the problem here?
Or these ones listed on the comparison page: "Idiotic repeating strobe mode" funny I remember one of these repeating strobe photos in a book of Time Life's greatest photos of the 20th century, but guess that photographer was an idiot too.
How about: "Either flash works with every lens. The "zoom range" just helps a tiny bit with battery life, so don't fret this spec." Well wrong on both parts of that sentence actually.
I don't know I just think that if you give him a product with more than one button on it he may just get confused.
I'd go the SB-800 any day. The extra power comes in handy, Modeling flash is a wonderful thing (despite what he says). The diffuser it comes with is great (despite what he says). The -7degree decline is great for macros (despite what he says).
I don't think I can add more than what Garbz just said, that pretty much echos my sentiments... both about Ken Rockwell *and* the SB-800. He may take great pics, but doesn't seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed.
Get the SB-800, you will be happier down the road that you did. It is one of the best strobes on the market and when the time comes that you want to get serious about getting some better quality shots and go off camera flash... the SB-800 will be your best friend.