I had a 508 and didn't like the "feel" of the meter. After destroying 7 Gossen meters (including 2 Starlites), I ended up with my 608 for serious work and my old 358 + PME45 for travel/location (and personal) work.
I've always hated analogue meters, took too much time to do something and too easily affected by temperature (anybody ever got a sticky needle because it was too cold??) I think the 208 sucks (for a few bucks more, you can get a good used digital meter, with the silicon cell instead of selenium (which drifts with age and temp changes))
The best "beginner" meter is a 358, which you can find used for about $100. The 308BII is also a great beginner meter.
I've always hated Gossen meters, never had one last more than 8 months (normal usage). The Digisix is nice, though, the timer and temp is great (especially if you shoot alot of Polaroids! AND it has EV!!!
The best part is the cold-shoe attachment, so you can attach it to your camera when shooting, keeps it from getting lost in piles of gear, and from hitting you in the n**z because the length of the neck cord is >>just<< long enough to put the meter there!