I too just bought my first snowmobile. A 700 GT. I'm very happy with it. I've never ridden a 500, but I really couldn't imagine having any less power than the 700. It a personal decision. I like the speed. This thing definetly does not corner-especially with 2 people on it. The more racier sleds will blow me away on the corners. It's only in the straights that I'm able to keep up. When I first got the sled it cornered terribly and would track into other sleds ruts. I added some Dual 6" carbides and it helped that dramatically. Because of the 2 riders, I'm wishing I had gone with 8" of carbide. People will say that 8" is way too much. That may be true with a one up, but not a 2 up. Way too much tail weight. The multiple position heated grips for the handle bars is just awsome. The hi-low rear grips is really appreciated, but they could be hotter. The back seat is quite comfortable, the back rest really holds you in, Not the best for leaning into the corners but great for inspiring confidence. The windshield is really high and is very effective.