I bought a CS27 last year (tiller steering) with an Autopilot 1000 which does not work and I can't get it fixed. So I am also in the market and am looking at Simrad.
You may have looked at other bulletin boards. On one, a person was critical of the Raymarine for not being weather tight. Another criticized the Raymarine ST2000 as not having as good a gear mechanism as the ST1000. Another said the Simrad was harder to use than a Raymarine tiller pilot.
I am with you on this one. Let's see what replies you get.
Cheers! John C