As mentioned before, I got a heart rate monitor for Christmas. Nice gift, exactly what I asked for. It does about everything a HRM could do except keep a plot of my heart rate over time (it just provides peak, average, low heart rates). But really, do I need to see a graph of my heart rate? No.
I now realize that when I'm jogging at 5.5 miles per hour (aka dog slow), my heart rate really is at about 70% of my max. So, while I may be going slow, I can at least comfort myself that I'm at the working my body hard enough. What's that? You want me to run faster? No, no thanks, I'm in my "zone".
I read the manual front to back, figured out how to use all the features (stop watch, count down timer, recovery time, target zone, alarm, calorie counter, scan function, etc. etc.). I got real excited when I read that it was water proof (well, resistant down to 30m - as long as you don't use the buttons under water). Cool! I can use it while swimming.
I jumped in the pool, turned on the heart rate, and .... nothing.
Sure, it's waterproof, so it isn't ruined when you get it wet, but they didn't actually say it works in water. Not only that, but when I push off the wall (launch really, like the speedboat on Miami Vice), the strap around my chest slides down a couple of inches.
At least now I've got a waterproof stopwatch.
Side note: The packaging for the HRM mentions two web pages to check out. I diligently try both of them, and they're both horrible. The first is just an advertisement for some company's "virtual training services" - and it complains if you try to view the web page in anything other than IE. The second doesn't have my HRM. I know that my "NordicTrack" HRM is just a branded device, but come on, if you're savvy enough to put TWO URLs in your packaging, you'd think that you might at least have one blurb about the product you're selling. And the NordicTrack web page is useless, they don't mention their HRMs at all (just the band you can wear on your chest).
I like my HRM, but their web presence is horrible.