Nathan, you would be surprised. Many hams are acquiring these radio's for a couple of reasons. One of the main reasons is that these are one of the few radios that can also be programed for inter-ops communications. Inter-ops are the freq's that have been designated as inter-agency frequencies used by public safety professionals. Can inter-ops be used normally by the average radio operator? No. Ham radio operators mainly prep for emergency communications. Many of us belong to organizations that back up public safety personnel. Organizations such as ARES and RACES.I just received my Baofengs last week, haven't had a chance to play with them yet but they are highly recommended by many for best bang-for-your-buck. Are they something a 'real ham' would use? No. Are they something they recommend for a BOB or someone just cutting their teeth? Yes.