Don't buy a Panda. They are over-engineered and break down constantly. Spent some time with one of their biggest dealers. They told me they love selling the generators because they are lifetime revenue streams for the dealer.
On genset vs. Conventional generator, others on this list can fill you in better than I. But some air conditioning units draw too much power on startup and won't start with the 1 or 2 kW portables. The 3 kW honda is $1995-getting close to the price of a genset