Good overview. I fully agree with his thoughts for a hybrid system; there must be someone somewhere to design a bullet-proof system like that?
We have an Raymarine 6000 autopilot, with an electric actuater for the small hops. For passagemaking we used the Windpilot Pacific. Both served us OK. Halfway we modified the windpilot so we could mount a little tiller pilot (raymarine st1000) instead of the windvane. That just worked great!!! Almost no amps and very fast response, both in light weather and when is was really blowing.
For a picture: http://www.pinical.nl/images/dag-tot-dag-2...automaat680.JPG
The most comforting of the Windpilot is the knowledge that there is hardly anything that can break down on you. Kiss-pinciple. We just spoke a little to much people handsteering for 2000 miles or so due to broken autopilots. And though I love sailing, i hate the idea to handsteer day and night. And I also hate the unnessecary dependency on electronics. We had it all to make things easy, but we could do without easily.
So, next time we set sail, I hope there is that little transom-mounted hybrid device, consuming only 0.5 amps, being remote controlled and with incredible speeddepending powering.