I went shopping for a reel a couple weeks ago. I was looking for a smaller reel and actually had a Mitchell 308 in mind. I was planning on looking at everything, though. I ended up with the Avocet since it was significantly cheaper than the 308. It looks great and seems to be smooth. I've used it a couple times and have caught a couple fish with it. So it seems just fine.
I used to be a Shimano man, but after buying my first Mitchell, I am now converted to Mitchell. I went out and bought 2 more I liked them so much. I think what really draws me in is the reel handle itself, I like the looks of it. Also, the quick spool release is a nice feature.