I think it is. I absolutely love my SD. Crystal clear, easy to use, the tape echo sounds like a tape echo. The reverse delay is actually something that can be used musically instead of just an effect. The auto function senses your picking dynamics and sets the delay time accordingly which is another very cool feature.
Steve from Empress is always available to answer any questions as well. I've actually never experienced better customer service from another builder.
I paid full price direct from Empress. It's very easy to switch through the presets, less easy to tweak on stage. I find that I really don't have to tweak on stage though. The presets are everything I need.
i paid a fair used price and think it's worth it. i've seen a few cheaper, but i'm very happy with it. i got a Memory Lane 1 a couple weeks before, and the SD is much better barring the lack of an effects loop. I've had a couple DD20s, a Timefactor, a Malekko Ekko, Disaster Transport, a bunch of Boss DD-2, RV-2, PS's, etc and i like this the best other than the glitchy Echolution i had, but the presets are nice. Looper is great too.