A smoothing plane is an incredibly useful tool for both hand tool and power tool enthusiasts. Presently I lack a dedicated smoothing plane (instead using a no 5, or abrasives.)
After much inward deliberation and hands on comparison at the Sturt Open Day I decided the HNT Gordon a55 was the plane for me. (The other main option was the LN 4 1/2, however, the handle configuration was crowded and less comfortable and the cost greater.)
Unfortunately, the day I was passing HNT Gordon the shop was shut for Easter... so I'll wait for the next wood show...
Hmmm. That wasn't the best of stories. Oh well... always happy to plug a quality Australian producer.