I recently got a SpacePilotPro to try out. I found the functionality of the device is better than the SpaceExplorer.
The LCD screen provides extra functionality. It’s like a mini third screen to keep track of email, calendar, tasks and RSS feeds. When scrolling through items you are able to open the item to the big monitors. The item at the top of the list is a listing of the function keys. You can assign different commands assigned to the various buttons on the mouse. The function keys are different for each program and are customizable.
Once you get used to the functions assigned to the keys it makes it easy to not have your left hand on the keyboard, there’s even an ESC key on the mouse. I’ve assigned most of the commands I use with my left hand to the mouse, such as copy, paste, paste special and regen. Along with the standard ESC, CTRL, ALT & SHIFT there is 10 function keys which may be assigned values.
Since I use the mouse mostly to move through the model the buttons on the other side of the mouse come in handy.
The buttons make it easy to change the view, such as left, right, front, etc… Additionally there is a FIT button which Zooms to Extents in AutoCAD or adjusts the view in Google Earth to be looking straight down and the north being towards the top of the screen. There is an additional three buttons that let you restrict the movement of the mouse.
The mouse is so easy to use even my four year old daughter enjoyed using it in Google Earth.
The SpacePilot Pro recently had a price drop to $399 (down from $499).
Disclosure: I received the SpacePilot Pro from 3Dconnexion to try out without cost.