The SSL312 has much in common, feature-for-feature, with many of its more expensive pedigreed brethren such as the Juniper Netscreen SA700 and the Cisco ASA 5500. The SA700 costs roughly $1500 and the 5500 can easily cost several thousand dollars depending on the configuration.
I did not find too many features that would make the other products stand out and justify their significant differences in price over the SSL312. The more expensive units do offer some interesting features such as failover redundancy and load balancing, but realistically speaking, those are some rather esoteric features that are only going to appeal to a select crowd.
Netgear has attempted to build a cost-effective plug-and-play device that would service a majority of the needs of the small business community. To that end goal, the SSL312 has more than succeeded. Similar devices from the big name networking firms can run into the thousands of dollars and configuring/maintaining them often requires a well-trained in-house IT staff or costly service contract. Quality business-class products at this price point have so far been nonexistent.
In fact, I believe that the Netgear SSL312 would feel right at home in the data centers of many larger businesses (usually the hallowed domain of big name networking firms only). Kudos to Netgear for providing such an economical feature-packed product. If you are looking for an easy-to-use, plug-and-play SSL VPN gateway for your small business or home network I would strongly suggest that you give some serious thought to the SSL312.