From what Dan and others have said about the arc quality of the Handler 187 I would think you could consider this new machine a Handler 187 on steriods, I havn't seen a Handler 187 yet but I can tell you that the Handler 210 is a very nice machine. With the Northern price being at $900 I would think it could be bought with the DP-3035 spooolgun (same gun as the Hobart/Miller 3035 with a different backend of course) for the same or cheaper as the MM210 or MM212 without a spoolgun. General performance is very close to what it was with the MM210 I used to have, and spoolgun performance with either 4043 or 5356 is excellant. I have run 6 different manfacturers wire and they all performed at acceptable levels with Hobart HB-28 & Pinnacle being the best in my opinion.
This machine could easily be your only mig and it will do everything most people would need without spending lots of money. I might also mention that performance on 24ga is very good even using .030 wire for those who are too lazy to change to .023-.025 wire like I sometimes am. I was a little suprised at the same work clamp as the 140/187 being used but in 4-5 months of testing I never experienced any problems relating to weak grounding, I guess if someone wanted to change it out to a bigger one they could with little expense.
I would bet these will be in short supply for some time and it would suprise me if the Northern price holds up, for those of you saving for a Handler 187 you might think about saving a few bucks more and take a hard look at this new Hobart Handler, esp if you were planning to adding a spoolgun and adapter to the Handler 187.