I have first hand experience on this. I have used Streets and Trips 2006 and 2007, both with their included GPS receivers. The 2007 version GPS receiver is much better with higher sensitivity with the SIRF Star III chip (I even got a satellite fix from my living room!). The 2006 and prior receivers often had problems getting a fix in heavy cloud conditions and tall building areas. The 2007 software itself is also a bit better with the new voice directions and updated maps as well as high contrast "night mode". It is very good at planning trips, with information on travel time, fuel expense and even approximating fuel stops. You can specify the types of roads you prefer or those to avoid. There is also info on nearby points of interest, restaurants and other businesses (including gas stations
). My only gripes are the low volume of the voice prompts and the inability to automatically recalculate the route when you take a wrong turn. You have to hit F3 to get it to re-route. The voice prompts are also too close to the upcoming turn, especially when cruising down a highway.
One advantage of this GPS receiver is that it can also be used on a Pocket PC with A CF adapter. The adapter for the 2006 receiver also works with the 2007 version. They are available on eBay but a bit pricey.
Another software package that is very well rated is Delorme's Street Atlas USA 2007, which includes maps of Canada. I found it more complicated to use than S&T but it does have automatic re-routing as well as louder voice prompts, which are also enough ahead of time for you to prepare to make your turn or exit. It also has automatic updates to the program itself when you're connected to the Internet (not sure about the maps though). They also have a Plus version which includes addresses and phone numbers on a DVD. Points of interest, restaurants and businesses seem on par with S&T. One interesting feature that S&T doesn't have is that you can add your own roads to an existing map. This can be useful if you deal with new developments or use it to map off-road trails. Their maps are also more detailed with waterways and lakes, which S&T woefully lacks. Another neat feature is the ability to download an aerial satellite image of an area and superimpose it to your map. They have a free trial of this with a pay-per-use afterwards. Even though Delorme sells their own GPS receiver, the software will work with any USB receiver.
There is freeware available so that you can use your own maps. Once it has been calibrated using two reference points, you can use it to track your whereabouts. It won't be able to plan a route but it would be good to use if you have your own topo maps and such, especially if you go off-road.