I found a very interesting article among many other cool things over at http://n4py.weebly.com. This one that might appeal to all us HF operators - a how-to on using a little Japanese SDR and some free software to create your own panadapter. It's not going to out-perform a $1000 model, but it doesn't sound too bad for the money.
N4PY makes well-reviewed software for a host of SDR amateur rigs.
Link to source of the SDR mentioned in the article...
Article from the N4PY website written by WD5FUN