If you do a lot of heavy riding, I would actually not reccommend the bates. Two ladies at the barn I am in each bought a new bates saddle when their horses arrived from Germany (that's a story in itself!)
After 4 months (literally) of riding everyday, the saddles had holes, really worn spots - and looked like it had just come out of a war zone. (and although they ride hard, they clean their tack after Every Ride)
However, I have a Wintec 500 dressage saddle - and I love it! I've had it for 5 years now - it is soooo comfy and really positions me well. I think that the length of your thighbone really determines that, though - taller riders may not like it.
The good thing about the 500 is that it has the interchangeable gullets - and I bought mine for $250 used on Ebay
direct from Australia
New ones are right around $500.00, so it's a substantial savings over the Bates.
Didn't mean to write a book - sorry!