Here is my humble setup, pulled together on a shoestring budget.
Yamaha MM-6 Korg Micro x Alesis Fusion 8HD Roland JV-1010 Korg 05R/W Lexicon I-Onix u22 audio interface (worth it's weight in gold!) Behringer Xenyx1002FX mixer Zoom RhythnTrak RT-223 drum machine Korg Microkorg SX Telecast guitar Crown G-120 Classical (had that 41 years, my oldest possession) Ashton 12 string guitar (out of sight is a Yamaha DJX, various amps and a clutch of 4tracks (all now redundant) and a bunch of guitar effect pedals).
Except the guitars, the rest came to a little under £1000
The MicroKorg is a strange one. At first I thought having half size keys would make it difficult to play, but surprisingly it doesn't. When well amplified the sounds are great, but lack much depth, a lot of them sounding like wasps in a jar, however, once you've tweaked them a bit its quite easy to beef them up. Unfortunately, you can only write your new creation into one of the existing presets, there aren't any free 'user preset' slots.
The vocoder is way more fun than I thought it would be as soon as the penny dropped that it hasn't got to be just your voice you use. The backing on my track soundcloud.com/quivixit/rainforest is my drum machine playing through one of the vocoder presets, pretty cool eh!
When it comes to editing the sounds I find it a bit cryptic and you have to work very hard to get a sound worth keeping. Once you've made one, you find yourself having to write down all the settings in case you need to ever restore the sound at a later date. Because I'm running Windows 8 any of the backup solutions I've found don't work, it would be much easier to be able to edit the patches on a PC.
The arpegiator is one of its main strengths and its really easy to use, giving some great results with almost no effort at all. I also like the fact it has Midi Thru, I wish all my kit did, the notable exceptions being the Korg Micro x and the Yamaha MM-6.
All in all, whilst it is my least used piece of equipment, I would hate not to have it
Thanks for the info, I have a small music room, my son and grand children like to play all the instruments, various types of drums, bass guitar and Fusion 8HD. my grandson especially likes the keyboard and I bought them a Melodiogrand (a small 6 octave upright piano for their house). My 6 year old grandson can play Amazing Grace by ear on the piano. Both grand children like to play all the instruments
Take Care ... Jesse
Jesse My Gear: Tempus & Yamaha drum kits, Remo Djembe, Matador Bongo's, Ibanez SD GR 5 string Bass guitar & 100 watt bass Amp, (2)Alesis Fusion 8HD keyboards, (2)SUMO 300 amps, Multimix 16 Firewire mixer, AKG D112 mic, 2 Behringer B2 Pro Stuio, Shure Beta 58a & 2 AKG D8000M mics, PC with Audigy sound card and Adobe Audition 3.0