I really have the same question on the helmet (self darkening). Re the welder, I ended up with he MillerMatic 175 in that I have 240v in my garage. Otherwise I think I would have gone with the Miller 135. It was really pretty much of a toss up to me between the Miller and the Lincoln. I didn't look at any Hobarts but my reading indicates their quality is on par with the others. Good luck and I hope someone posts on the helmet recommendation.