Studiologic SL-990 Pro by vincentlepes
I got an amazing deal on Craigslist a few years back for a Studiologic SL-990 Pro keyboard controller and have been using it for about three years now. The SL-990 is a no-frills controller and it's built like a tank. It's a very heavy unit with a metal housing and it can take some abuse. I got this controller for the hammer action, which plays very much like a real piano. This isn't the keyboard for organ runs and synth slides, but if you are looking to build some strength in your fingers and want a controller that feels like a real piano, it's a great buy.
The keyboard is a full sized 88 key controller with basic mod and pitch wheels. I use it for traditional instruments like piano or harpsichord, as well as for pads and various other instruments. I find myself reaching for something with a soft touch when I want to do synth lines or some Hammond organ runs, but for daily practice I turn to this keyboard as it helps build strength and accuracy.
The build quality is amazing, this thing was definitely made to get some time on the road. The keys are sturdy with a great feel to them and the housing is metal. Even the wheels for pitch and mod are heavy duty and have a nice spring back to them. There are some buttons in the middle that are for assigning functions and channels and such but I don't really have a need to use them. I can say that they also have the great quality.
If you come from a piano background but want a controller to interface with your DAW or plugins, this is a great controller for you. I'd also recommend it to anyone learning piano who doesn't have a real piano with hammers of some kind. Those started pianos will help you learn scales and chords just fine but the weighted hammers will help build up your arms for endurance and speed.
I've been very happy with this keyboard and would miss it badly if it were gone. It isn't covered in knobs and faders and controls and drum pads, but it feels more like a real piano than any other controller I've found in the price range.