I don't wish to hijack, but this thread seems to dip into my own issue. I'm a total noob where hacking GPS is concerned, but the commercially-sold units just aren't cutting it for me, and I'm curious about alternatives. What follows was intended to be my first 'new thread' post, but as that has to wait 'til I've replied 10 times in other threads, I'll lay it all out here in hopes some of you can guide me in the right direction...

Pardon my frustration, especially as I expect my gripes are all too common and may be addressed in another thread somewhere, but I'll lay out my thoughts and perhaps someone can point me toward the thread where my troubles have been previously remedied.

Basics: Why does all commercial GPS software (and by that I mean the operating software for stand-alone in-car GPS devices) suck?

Verbose explanations: Seems no matter the brand, the map updates never actually address the myriad of errors they've had since the GPS first became a big deal. There is a dirt path near my home that every GPS I've owned still reports is a viable roadway... despite it never having been open to any traffic- ever. It was cleared in the 1960s with the plan of being a road, but it was soon deemed too dangerous as it would have intersected with a 50MPH roadway just beyond the peak of a blind hill- it was a stupid idea from day one and was thankfully caught very soon after. Yet even the GPS I bought this week still wants me to leap the guardrails blocking both ends of the path to endure the many branches that will pound my car's finish as I attempt to not get stuck in the muck that is there, in place of any kind of road.

And that is just one of many examples that abound within just a few miles of my home. And it seem TomToms is the only maker that even allows the user to 'block' such roads from being used in calculating routes... and has a feature that (rumor has it) will upload user corrections to TomTom for use in future map updates (tho I've made and uploaded such corrections for years and never seen one applied to the updated maps I've downloaded).

After a half-dozen TomToms, I've now acquired a Magellan (mainly to punish TomTom, with the side-effect of punishing myself, too). My last TomTom's touch-screen died, and after determining it was out of warranty, TomTom threw up their hands, saying I'd just have to buy another. Ok, I said, but doesn't TomTom have a "owner loyalty" discount available? Yes, they said- 20% any GPS sold in their own online store. So the $230 unit I wanted would be about $183 plus shipping. I explained Amazon had it for $167 with FREE shipping. TomTom support went silent. So much for loyalty.

Now, the new Magellan has a few features I'm liking, but many features of the TomTom aren't included, like that ability to block roads myself. And to report mistakes to magellan requires using an on-lne form into which I must repeatedly enter the same unit and software version info (easily 8 different codes) again and again, once for each correction.

And this 15 year plus frustration with such oversights that I would consider the most basic needs for a usable GPS unit is boiling over.

My questions: Is there an alternative to manufacturer-supplied software and maps that I can use on either my Magellan Roadmate 9055 or even on one of those Chinese no-name GPS units... one that will allow me to make real, permanent corrections to the maps (that won't be lost during a map update)? Is there no route out of this hell?

Thanks for tolerating my rant, and any aid you can offer.