Look at this plates on cheaper models! I wouldn't be surprised if these came off a metal garbage can lid!

I will honestly say this, if you can afford to avoid tin plates please do so. The plates all basically perform the same function but if you need something more stable feeling, the heavier the gauge of steel the better people usually like it. You can have a great motor and great amplitude but if the plate is not thick enough, you can definitely feel the difference. I think the plate is one of the biggest factors in buying a machine. That is usually the first thing I ask. I ask what gauge or how thick is the plate. By knowing this you have a better chance of getting the machine you like without trying it first.
If you are light weight then you may be able to get away with a lower gauge steel plate. If a plate is not as thick, having a very large plate can offset the feel that a thin plate gives. If you are in California, where the majority of these models are imported to and a few manufacturers who build them there, you may be able to go to their warehouses and try them. There are also places in NY, and Texas that I can try to make an appointment for you to go see if there is a model you are wanting to try. I really think people should be able to try these first and if not, I appreciate the companies that offer a 100% money back guarantee with my customers even if it is not their policy to do this with every dealer. I sell enough of these machines that I expect them to do this or I won't promote their brand. Sometimes, if someone wants to return one and rather than paying shipping, in Ca, Ny, Florida, TX, IL, and AZ I usually will have one of the people that want to return a model. These are usually the models under 2000 and mostly the non-linear models.
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When trying to compare plate feels, if I can't try one, knowing if the plate is made of tin or solid steel is the first thing I look at. The thicker the gauge of steel, the more of a difference the plate feels. Tin can vibrate itself and store up the vibration unlike how steel can simple transmute the vibration forward, such as on a linear model. I DO NOT WANT the plate to vibrate incoherently. I want the plate to simply release the g forces into the body. The highest gauges of plates I have seen are 8 gauge steel. When stepping on a tin or plastic or steel plate I do notice the differences in feel. Many of the models that only go up to 1mm to 2mm, usually have lower quality plates as it is not necessary to have something thicker when the frequencies don't reach the higher ranges. Getting a good plate is like buying tires for your car in a way. They all will serve the purpose but some are designed for different usages.  
You can call me at 1-866-945-9072 and I can help you pick out the right machine that gives you the feel that you want.
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