I thought it worthwhile to pass on my observations of the unit I ordered and received (Fri 10 Sep 99) being sold by 800.com. It is essentially what is advertised.
Overall audio quality of the box is pleasant. Tone control is rather limited to presets with some alteration of low end (bass) response. There are line level and mic level ('mic mixing' ala karaoke [?]) inputs on the rear of the unit allowing for traditional style recordings from external sources.
Worth noting: Unit is AC only, no batteries so it is not intended to go to the beach. Record level on cassette (or MD) input level is not variable; unit has some sort of AGC for analog type inputs. Ten preset memories for AM and FM bands (20 total). No direct entry of frequency.External loop (standup type on integral base) is supplied for AM reception. AM performance is good to very good by today's standards. FM reception switchable to mono and also has 3 beat cancelling positions for noisy multiplex recordings. Cassette deck quality is very solid and fidelity is good.
Minidisc allows 1.6x playback for location/editing/dictation playback. Unit does provide for monophonic record on MD. Minidisc transport seems to be solid with audio quality as one would expect from any MD.
No performance specs published in supplied manual-which itself is decent as a guide around the box. Books infers digital transfer from CD to MD. Usual programmable track features found on most CD's and MD's of this size/price range. Remote control required for some functions (date & time entry as an example). Flourescent display is generally easy to read; e.g. MD titles scroll nicely and can be seen well.
Summary: well worth $200 price at 800.com; probably would be a slow mover on open market at original $400 due to lack of DC (battery) operation, weight & size, and lack of consumer awareness.