If you want the Rolls-Royce of sets, then you’re forced to splurge on the holy PanOptic™. To me, everything else in between just doesn’t seem worth it (if you’re really going to shell out $500+ for a Welch Allyn diagnostic set, why not upgrade all the way?). For most people, the Panoptic is a massive waste of money. Its main benefit is that you can do a much more complete fundoscopic exam without dilating the eye. As a consequence, you can accurately assess the optic disc and easily check for papilledema. Consequently, for neurologists, the Panoptic can be extremely helpful in checking for signs of increased intracranial pressure. For ophthalmologists or family docs, the Panoptic is helpful for community outreach work and school screening, as it allows you to obtain a fast reliable exam without eye drops/dilation.
For PAs who want to do community outreach, medical mission-work, etc… it’s seriously something to consider. If you want to work in family practice and actually do a real fundoscopic exam, then a Panoptic head is probably the most straightforward way to do so in a routine clinical setting. You don’t even have to know how to use one properly; it’s just that much easier.