As a reviewer of the IC9700 in PW, when it first came out, I did a comprehensive set of measurements in discussion with a number of other, mainly international, equipment reviewers.
I think it qualifies me to have an informed opinion, even if you disagree with it.
I also have, and occasionally use, one of these rigs myself. I am also known for previously producing a range of transverters from 6m to 23cm, but used with an Elecraft K3.
I maintain a keen interest in VHF radio performance.
I am concerned at some of the comments I read on here.
The IC9700 is not a bad rig. Its transmit composite noise is not the best. It can be bettered by many HF rigs and transverters. It is a lot better than many of the earlier (and some current) shack in a box (multiband) rigs, both on transmit composite noise and on receiver dynamic range. A few (very few) of the earlier single band 144MHz transceivers are good on receive and transmit, but can be pretty good when fitted with a Mutek front end board. Few of the 432 and 1296MHz single band rigs have an acceptable performance by modern standards.
An IC9700 is not a good choice for those who want to operate contests on one of its 'native' bands, particularly from a high hill, using a high gain antenna and with a 'linear amplifier. It is worth noting that In common with many of this generation of rig, turning down the power output, for QRP operation, results in (noticeably)much poorer transmit composite noise than when running at full power. A masthead preamplifier is likely to result in noticeably worse receiver performance in the presence of strong inband and out of band signals.
Used as an IF rig with some of the current low(ish) cost transverters, it is likely that performance will be limited by the transverter anyway. Transverter LO phase noise performance has deteriorated in recent years, mainly as a result of incorporating a synthesiser to improve frequency stability for FT8 and some other digital modes.
Given the above observations I would say that if you want the convenience of a modern multiband rig, that will be used with a microwave band transverter, then it is a reasonable choice. It is certainly no worse than that popular transverter driver rig, the FT817 and 818, but it does have some very convenient facilities like the frequency spectrum display and ability to record sound to the SD card. So does the new IC705, but I have not had a chance to play with or measure the performance of one.
Some of the previous generation rigs are beginning to show their age, both in terms of performance and reliability. Many spare parts are becoming more difficult to find. Do note that when you buy an older rig, you are buying a liability!
The almost unforgivable error, perpetrated by ICOM in the IC9700, of having a single SEND output, is neatly overcome with The DX Shop PTT multiplier, when (if) you want to connect a PA or drive a selection of transverters.
I'm sure a few subscribers to this reflector will take me to task for not condemning the IC9700, for their own reasons, but it is important to regard the IC9700 in the context of what else you might choose to buy and use.
73 de Sam, G4DDK