In the end, the attractive price drove me to try out the Chinese Wouxun (pronounced Oh-Sheng). It came with a 2 week no questions asked return policy plus 2 years of local warranty so why not?
The device itself comes in a black plastic housing. Does not look flimsy but then again, I would not drop it on the ground (you could do that with the VX-6 :-)
The 2 line alphanumeric display is backlit in white and is very easy to read. All keys have a bright backlight. Ah, and it talks! Not sure if this is critical for its function but I could imagine this is a real plus for a blind operator. Good stuff!
Output power is 1W/5W only, I would have preferred an additional 2.5 setting. During long transmission periods it can get a bit warm. Not much different from the VX-6.
Reception is very sensitive, loud and clear! Its squelch works like a charm, nothing fancy here though. So far I have not seen it open erratically, not even in the presence of strong HF signals (the VX-6 did that a lot). Transmission works as expected, no problem with deviation, it opens all repeaters that I tried. Other operators have given me positive feedback on my audio (that is something that I would have liked to get with the much more expensive VX-6 with its internal microphone).
Battery capacity is good, it comes with a Lithium block attached which can be charged within the device or standalone. On standby with the occasional QSO the battery lasts around 48 hours in my case.