I bought my saddle at Australian Saddles - the Down Under Collection of Aussie Saddles for Trail, Ranch, and Endurance riding
in December, when they had a 25% off sale. For $750, it is a pretty good saddle. At $1000, I don't know if I would buy it. The quality of leather and stitching isn't as good as a $1500 Circle Y, but it is a judgment call on how much lower the price needs to be to become acceptable. They have clearance sales, but "All clearance saddles can be returned for exchange or store credit only." That would make me very nervous.
One problem I had in looking for saddles is that my gelding has a very short back, and anything over 26 inches long is a tight fit on him. We have a used Circle Y arabian saddle that is 26.5 inches, and it really is longer than I would like. Cutting and roping saddles tend to be flatter, which I like, but also tend to be 28 inches long with square corners, and they can hit my geldings hip.
I own 2 saddles from Down Under. The first was a little small for me, but good for my oldest daughter and close enough that I rode it regularly for about 6 months. I love the design of that style saddle. It is a little narrower than a western. That is good for a guy starting riding at 50, because it means I don't have to stretch my hips as much to get down into the saddle. I found my biggest problem in starting riding was that my hips were very tight from 40 years of daily jogging, and it took a lot of riding to loosen things up enough that settling deep in the saddle was really possible.
It is a secure design. The poleys - the bumps on front - keep your hips secure in the saddle. My horses tend to twist and spin when they get scared, and I've never come close to coming out of these saddles. The gelding once had a prolonged bucking/twisting fit with my first Aussie saddle on him, and I just rode it out. I don't know if I could have done it in our Circle Y, and I KNOW I could not have handled it in my English saddle.
The drawback is that the quality isn't as good as a $1200-1500 western saddle. If my horses were not short-backed Arabians (the gelding is 3/4 Arabian, and the mare 100%), I'd probably spend a bit more and go western. A good western saddle will also hold its resale value better, and it is easier to find one used.