I can't comment on the value of a CPE 2 because I have not researched it sufficiently.

However I do feel qualified to comment on auction tactics, having worked in the old-fashioned face-to-face auction industry for sixteen years. Many times we used to be amused at the prices some people would pay - more than new price. So the first rule of bidding at any auction is to know the true market value of the item, set your maximum price, and do not exceed it under any circumstances. The second rule is to not bid early because there will always be someone in the crowd who is prepared to outbid you. Live auctions are somewhat more difficult than eBay from the buyer's point of view because all the other bidders and the auctioneer can see you and in the auctioneer's case at least, read your body language. It is also unpredictable as to exactly what moment the auctioneer will terminate the auction.

I have bought over two hundred photographic items on eBay (damn GAS) using the above two rules and I have never had regrets about paying too much or being the victim of a "shill" bid. I use Auction Sentry Deluxe to do my bidding in the last few seconds, and I probably lose twice as many auctions as I win because of earlier high bids or other bidders using similar software. That's life. It is not illegal and I don't believe that it is immoral, although some do. At least I don't have to get up at 3 AM to put in a bid for something on the other side of the world.

Cheers, Peter.