I tried to get one many times before the world went into recession. I wasn't planning on buying new, but no matter how much I bid, there was always someone willing to go one bid more.
So I decided to make one myself, using a Cambo 8x10 back. It wasn't a particularly ambitious project, but it turned out well, and I was especially pleased with the thinness of the section of the rear standard. It was also my first attempt at making bellows- I've since made a few more, but I'm not sure I have many more than that in my future. We'll see...
This was my first real camera project. I first used Arca Swiss in college, a very long time ago. There was a choice between the Arca Swiss, I think it was a C model, and a Sinar Norma. After using both, I found myself gravitating towards the Arca, and it's been that way ever since. I have used Sinar also, they were the mainstay of the rental market; I never found an Arca for rent.
Both camera manufacturers produce beautiful machines. As an example of how to make big cameras, I don't think there are many better. Since I know more about the Arca, I'm going to refer to that one.
The Arca Swiss F Line ( I use an older 171 model ) Is an incredibly well thought out camera. All controls are well positioned and operate very smoothly, and many functions can be set using only one hand. The controls for tilt and swing are positioned on the same axes on one side of the monorail and are differentiated by their shape- swing is controlled by a knob and tilt by a lever. These little details are important when you're working under a dark cloth, and they help to make the camera intuitive to operate.
This camera system has been a huge inspiration to me, when setting out to design my own camera, although obviously, I have taken my own direction.