I had the saddle fitter out on Saturday to take a look at my QH, the saddles I had on trial, and the brands she reps.
In the end, the consignment Albion I had fit, but needed to be completely reflocked (defeats the used price for me and I don't have anything else to ride in while that is done). The rest of them (Passier, Anky, KN) had too much curve front to back or were too angular across the panels.
As everyone had already suggested the Thorowgood and Kent & Masters fit him well, but I found the twist to be too wide. She also had a few Hastilow Concepts (and I think a Fairfax, but we didn't try that one) that fit him well.
In the end, I really liked the Hastilow Concept Flexibility in a 17.5 seat and JD seems to approve it as well. I've got it on trial for 10 days and will ride in it 3-4 times this week (plus take a lesson). He's in the MW gullet, and I like the idea that the tree can be adjusted and the flocking easily modified as he (most likely) changes shape through the dressage work.
It's about twice what I want to spend, even at the demo saddle price. But hey, that's the way it goes.
That said, everyone I've talked to so far says they've never heard of the brand. Anyone have one? Likes? Dislikes? Concerns? Will I be screwed on resale if I ever need to sell it?
I've sat in quite a few Hastilow saddles as there is a rep that comes to my area frequently. They are nice saddles for the price and offer a lot more options for both horse and rider than some of the french brands I tried in the way of jumping saddles.
As far as resale goes, I think it would be a bit more difficult just because they aren't as well known, although that's just my opinion. I don't think you are necessarily screwed, but the only people I know who have sold used saddles at a good price as jumper riders selling their Butet, Devoucoux, Antares, etc.
If you are looking into the dressage saddles, if it's not a widely known or hugely popular dressage saddle, you probably will lose something on resale. However, if it fits your horse very well, this might be offset by not needing to address physical symptoms from an ill-fitting saddle.
I have a Hastilow concept. Mine uses the same tree as was in the Thorowgood and Kent and Masters saddles of the same year. Great saddle, just as good as any of the other British saddles. Less name recognition so yes you will lose out on resale value. With that said, I personally don't buy a saddle based on its resale, I buy it based on its fit for the horse and I. The adjustable plate will allow it to work longer for your horse (caveat as long as it only needs adjusting through the front of the saddle), so resale may not be as big of an issue like it might be for a fixed tree saddle.
I have the Concept dressage saddle and love it. I bought it two years ago - same deal as you, I didn't want to spend anywhere near that. However, two years later it still looks brand new and its got a lot of time in it. I liked that it was so "re-build-able" since the horse I bought it for it very hard to fit and has some soundness issues. I liked the idea that it could be refit and altered to fit anything else I might end up with later on. My other horse goes in an Albion Platinum and they are very similar saddles.
Resale value probably won't be great, as others pointed out. My friend got a great deal on a Hastilow (not the Concept but not sure which model) on ebay. Saddle is in great shape without much use, but she got it for around $500. She is elated, but the seller probably wasn't. I don't see either of us selling ours though.
I have ridden in a few Hastilows and loved each and every one. They are a very nice saddle for the price! My old Roosli fits my youngster for now but I don't love it for me so I will be getting him a new saddle at some point soon and it will probably be a Hastilow.
RedmondDressage - I did a search here for saddle fitter reviews before I called someone out. Since I know you've heartily recommended her several times, you're right, you do know who I used... Loved her.
I have a Hastilow custom saddle and love it. I started with it on a tiny Arabian and now am using it on a draft/TB cross. I didn't worry too much about resale because the adjustable tree and my saddle fitter's ability to re-flock, we should be able to fit it to any horse. My saddle cost more than both of my horses, but I have never regretted it. I think it's been four years now and I still love it.
Also, I tried the Kent and Masters and found they put me in a downhill position that was incredibly uncomfortable. I don't have that problem with the Hastilow.
I've got a concept dressage and a concept jump saddle and love them both! The adjust-ability has been great since my horse's weight has fluctuated a lot over this past year so it was easy to change out the bars and adjust the fit in the front. I try to have one of their fitters out twice a year to make sure things are good with the rest of the saddle. My horse is a bit of an awkward shape and fit and they have done a great job keeping him and me happy.
I wouldn't worry so much about resale for two reasons: the saddle is rebuildable and your saddle fitter specializes in them. So she's comfortable with the brand. I think that makes a difference in the perceived value.