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Hi tk2k

I have run into a number of clients with the same concern as you. iLive is not as rider friendly as M7. With that said, i havent found anyone that is convinced that the M7 sounds better. I find the iLive superior in sound, user friendlyness, connectivity, weight and etc. If the bands that you host dont really have riders and you dont intend on trying to be too rider friendly, than just go for the better quality product.
There really hasnt been any issues with the iLive series in a really long time. I have close to 20 systems installed and two system in my rental inventory and i cant remember the last time i got a call.
In summary, you get a lot more for the iLive, but you have to make a decision based on your goals.

Flip-to-faders function is a default for aux mixing in iLive.
USB ports on the back can be used for keyboard.

Hope this helps.

Gil Parente
Design & Integration
Entertainment Arts, Inc.
iLive 176, T112
iDR48 , iDR16, iDR10
Multiple iPads