Okay a couple of answers:
The top choices in the $100-200 range in the fly fisherman article were the Dynaking ??? (Grr my memory deserted me) and the HMH Spartan.
Stability with a pedestal vise hasn't been a problem for me. I used a Cabelas base on a cheap import vise for ~ 10 years until I replaced it with a Renzetti traveller cam on a pedestal last year. Neither one gave me a stability problem, though after for the last couple of years hooks did pop out of the cheap vise under heavy tension.
If I had to do it again I would still start out with a cheap vise.
What the rotary vise does when putting hackle on is it allows you to see where the hackle is being put down. With out the rotary 1/2 of the hackle is put on the fly where you can not see it. Here is a link
to a thread last year on the topic.