This is my very educated opinion
At this point in time the prices of NEW FSU equipment are too high when you consider the very real possiblility that you will get a lemon right out of the box and problems may hound you to the point that you throw it through the window. You also have to factor in the falling price of used equipment from other more reliable manufacturers.

http://www.kievaholic.com/kievreportsearch.html

Yes hartblei has a website. The link above is to search a forum dedicated to these PIA but very fun cameras. If you do a search on the word hartblei you will see that there is a lot of confusion to who the hell hartblei actually is. The company split up and two different companies claiming the same name. The website www.hartblei.com is not owned by the original person and has produced some really bad cameras as of late. The original owner of the company is a guy named naumenko(sp) and people have a real difficult time getting ahold of him, if they can at all.

Arax has produced some gems and some dogs it is a crapshoot. Arax prices are comparable to other places like kievcamera, Kiev USA is a ripoff plain and simple. Prices way out of league and their cameras are not built any better, no matter what they claim. Kiev camera has a weird return policy. Instead of fixing the problem they send you a new camera and you get a whole new set of problems. Arax, at least trys to fix the camera they sent you. This is a better idea with these cameras. Right now Arax, except for price, is the better deal. they are also the nicest buch of folks.

Buying russian cameras is like playing russian roulette. People buy them because they have access to some really good and cheap glass and they like to fiddle with their cameras. I have been lucky to not have to fiddle with any part of my camera.

On the upshot I am addicted to the possibilities a FSU camera affords me. Mainly good glass at cheap prices. A hassy owner may only be able to afford 2-3 lenses while I have owned up to six and paired it down because of weight not price. Plus you have the 30mm fish eye for 250US$ and a 180 sonnar for less than that.