I have a Filco, CM Storm, and a Leopold tenkeyless. The CM Storm is about 90% of the Filco for about half the price. Both are very solid boards. The Leo is solid too, but the difference is more noticeable and I think I know why.
It's all about what is more important to you. If you end up being a collector, you'll end up with a Filco regardless.
As others have said, the CM Storm is the best bang for your buck by far. The branding on the case is not bad at all once you replace those keys.
I've had them all apart. Both the Filco and the CM Storm support the switches by the plate, which is supported directly by the base. The switch/plate/PCB assembly is almost exactly the same and they both use Costar stabilizers. The Leopold supports the plate via the PCB, which is then supported by the base. The key differences between the Filco and the CM Storm are:
- The Filco has two screws holding the plate down to the base and the base has some extra webbing on the Filco. The plate is then sandwiched between the two halves on both, but the CM Storm lacks the extra screws.
- The Filco has a thicker, double-sided PCB. The CM Storm is a bit thinner and is single-sided. Both look to be FR4, but the Filco may be a higher grade.
The Leopold has a lighter and thinner PCB material (looks FR3 to me). This coupled with the way the PCB has to support the plate and switches is the reason for the difference in typing feel. Obviously, the Cherry stabilizers are also a factor.