When we first moved in here, we got a Ecowater ECR3000R30. Was a housewarming gift - installation and all.
I would have never shelled out that much cash for one otherwise.
BUT ... I never realized how valuable the thing has been though, until chatting with the neighbors. Guess they go through plumbing fixtures like crazy, getting all plugged up with barnacles. I've had the same fixtures, shower head, and toilet hardware for the 10.5 years we've been here. Replaced nothing. All the valves and fixtures for the washing machine are all the same too - same washer for the same amount of time with minimal repairs. My neighbors were shocked when I told them that. They have a softener, but it's about 30 years old - not sure it even does anything anymore. From the sound of things, I doubt it works .. other than sending 40 lbs. of salt to the septic tank .... $$$$$.
Not only that, but when I take a shower, I use next to nothing for soap and shampoo. We notice this every time we stay overnight someplace else. Everyone else's water feels like a solvent, in that it washes the soap off INSTANTLY. Our water makes the soap feel slimy, and it takes longer to wash off ... so you use less. Also noticed it keeps the toilet and shower cleaner for longer. I've lived in lots of shitty apartments all over the country, so this one thing stood out to me the most. We can get away with not cleaning anything for several weeks without crust forming on the shower walls ...
Knowing what I know now, I would definitely buy one - even for soft well water. You can set these things so low that you might add a 30 or 40 lb bag every 8 months ... or more! I figure what it has saved me in plumbing fixtures and washer repairs, it would be worth the cash ... if I installed it myself that is.