Actually, my opinion on breathable jackets can not even come close to the feedback given by the hardcores above. Since I didn't work at a flyshop all year, my knowledge has unfortunately been limited as far as new products in the last year are concerned... and even if I was there full time the real test comes from "the bush" where the above gang "hangs out".
One thing I will say on the topic... I've tried to find a breathable jacket that can withstand a full day of pounding rain and failed. I've tried gore-tex (three times), ultrex, thistrex and thattrex. They are all great for off/on rain or full time drizzle. But everytime I have been in all all out pounding rain, the only thing that has kept me dry thru the whole affair is rubber.
Even though I have a couple nice goretex, wading cut, roomy pocket, ultra hood, taffetta lined, hand warmer, neoprene cuff $$ jackets, if I think it's gonna pour all day I grab the $20 Columbia Fraser rubber jacket over a microfleece hooded sweatshirt if it's cold out.
Ed Ward, the steelhead bum, wore his the day we floated the Sauk River c/o Andre Lorenz of Portland OR. in the Cascade Mtns. I wore my high tech gore tex jacket. Over the course of the day, he made some comments about his experiences with gore-tex over the years, and those experiences led him full circle to rubber jackets. Soon my arms had soaked thru and my fleece was wicking water to the lower half of my arms and down my sides. Once my clothing got wet inside I could not get comfortable and was bordering on hypothermic when the sky cleared and I hooked a gnarly Skagit River steelhead that cleaned my clock and warmed me right up.
I've learned this lesson over and over again, buy breatable jacket - get let down, try again, let down again, etc. I hate the sweaty condensation that rubber jackets can cause when the weather is in consistent. It's not a perfect solution by any means. All I can say is that when it's a pounding all day rain I want rubber. When it's not I want breathable. I am still anxious to find a jacket that can handle both, and in my own exploits have not found that jacket yet.
I'd say buy the best you can afford and make sure it was a satisfaction guarantee