I think you should look up the phrase "cult following"
especially in the context of "cult movies," etc
If I were to own a Zero-Five, I would feed it at the base with some good matching networks. I have no doubt in my mind that a Zero-Five 43 foot "multiband" antenna would really pull in the DX and compare favorably if not beat other commercial offerings if you put a high-quality automatic tuner or manual matching networks at the base and put down a good radial system.
With coax and a balun, I'd expect quite a bit of loss on some bands but if you're running full legal limit you're going to still blast through the pileups even with 3, 4 or 6dB of feedline + balun loss... you won't even notice... well, I think people would notice if they tried both ways...
My 40 foot unloaded vertical was a stellar solution for DXing on the lower bands from a limited space, but there's no mystery to it. You efficiently feed power to a 40-something foot radiator over a good radial field, it's a good DX antenna on many bands. I pretty much felt about my 40 footer like the eHam reviewers feel about their Zero-Fives ... on 40m I was just blasting signals around the world with 100W... worked the XF4 on 80m, etc.
Paying $469 for your 43 foot radiator doesn't make it work better electrically... but at least you know what you're getting. Commercial multiband verticals with traps and various loading schemes are practically impossible to assess in terms of radiating efficiency without doing a field strength shootout.
Plus, it seems the Zero-Five comes with a healthy dose of friendly, fast service and Tom's willingness to do custom work to help you realize your vertical antenna dreams... and seems that half the reviewers feel compelled to use the phrase "built like a tank". I'd imagine the materials cost for these antennas is a pretty good chunk of the purchase price. Nothing wrong with spending your money where you want.
But it's not magic. No multiband vertical is magic. 43 foot sticks of aluminum are not magic.
Seems like DX Engineering has hopped on the unloaded-43ft-vertical-with-a-balun bandwagon... that'll be just what we need... discussions on which gives a louder signal, the DX Engineering DXe-60VA-1 or the Zero-Five multibander.
So, it's been on my site for a while, but to be fashionable I think I'm going to officially announcehttp://www.n3ox.net/projects/lowbandvert
as my entry into the 40+ foot multiband antenna shootout, but I'm keeping it open source. No, you can't buy one from me. No, I don't think using a Spiderbeam pole to support it makes it louder than using whatever ya got to hang the radiator.
Try the N3OX 40 footer and hang it from a damn tree. If it falls down in the ice or gets vaporized by lightning, put it back up for a mere three dollars of wire! It has a low angle of radiation! Extra exciting ad copy here! I worked huge DXes with it!
Wind some wire and add some capacitors and match your DX Engineering, Zero-Five or N3OX-ultra-wire antenna efficiently to coax!http://n3ox.net/projects/lowbandvert/matching_networks.pdf
Not a "high-end" vertical but it works just like one ;-)
There are lots of good choices out there, even simple unloaded verticals, as long as you feed power to them efficiently. I actually really liked the single 40 foot radiator as an 80 to 20m antenna *if matched at the feedpoint*. It's really pretty great if done right. It's simple. I think you can probably live with the losses in a moderate length feedline + balun configuration, but why would you WANT TO?
The SteppIR is cool, but I think the technology (and therefore the money) is a little bit wasted on a vertical. On a yagi, it makes great sense... the element lengths are critical both for low SWR *and* inter-element coupling. On a vertical, it's just a fancy antenna tuner. It probably helps the most on 80m with the add-on coil where efficient use of the antenna on 80 necessitates very narrow bandwidth at a given length setting. My 40 footer needed just one fixed network for each band 40 and up but 80m needed two coil taps to cover just the DX slivers of 80CW and 75SSB, and tuning drifted.
The Hy-Tower is probably a pretty good choice and the extra height will help some in a marginal-radial situation on 80.
But as you make your decision, remember that some guy with a tree-supported wire vertical might just be kicking your butt in the pileups even with $500 to $1000 sunk into a single vertical. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy one, it just means that "high end" doesn't necessarily mean "high gain" or "high performance" in the way that ad copy might lead you to believe.