> I've seen the Zebralight around online a little, but there seems to be some kind of issue with getting a bad one and customer service and some kind of hang up over that whole can of worms. Anyone care to comment or have any insight?
The loudest complaint I've heard about ZL, is that in the rare event you get a bad one, you don't get to return it to Texas headquarters and get a new one shipped out quickly as a replacement. Your ZL goes back to China for reworking, which takes IMO too long before it's returned--weeks. To me it seems you should have your replacement inside a week. I've never had a ZL go bad so this has not been a personal experience, just reading commentary of others. There's been talk that ZL would move its repair stateside; I don't know if that's happened yet, or will.
If that scenario is unbearable, you might consider a SureFire light, which will get repaired here in the US. For what it's worth, I have owned 3 Sparks, 5 Fenix, 7 ZLs, and probably a dozen other lights of various brands from good to junk including Petzl (case cracked), ShiningBeam (fine), Romisen (connection issues), and Energizer (bad design). To me, they are not all the same; one is not as good as another. The ones that have given me trouble are the inexpensive lights; usually a connection going bad. The Fenix have been solid (although with poor tints and hot spots), the Sparks have been great (one has a switch that doesn't always remember its last setting), and the ZLs have given me zero trouble, just none. If SF made a smaller headlamp, I'd buy one without question--they are good quality, just larger than I'm accustomed to.
I dunk-test all my new waterproof lights to make sure I don't have a leaker. I suggest the same for any new purchaser. Turn your light on, drop it in a glass of water for 15 minutes, and see if it stays lit. If it fails, send it back right away.