OK boys: let's not fight. First off, I have been a 'contrarian' in comparison to the general public trends. When everyone thought summing was completely necessary, I thought it was completely unnecessary. Then, when people first started saying it was no longer necessary, I brought home a Neve 8816, made a handful of stems out of a record I was mixing and suddenly I was enjoying my mixes, "suspending my disbelief" (phrase borrowed from film) and having fun listening to a greater extent. It made me think I like one or two, but probably no more, 'pieces of iron' in the path. So I get that the emotional response, which is what all music listening is about for me, might be different with a console/summing device or without one. Whether or not there is an actual, provable difference between analog and digital summing no longer is relevant to me; I care about whether I am doing inspired work or not. I would suggest that it is also in the best interest of your clients for you to be doing inspired work as well.
Chuck, I am a 480 guy (but not necessarily a 960 guy). I've heard a 224 a couple of times, but it never excited me. But that may well be my problem--not understanding what it is good for--and not the 224's problem. If you wouldn't consider it to be revealing trade secrets, what do you like to use it on? Or what do you find you can more easily acheive with it over other reverbs?
A friend has 2 EMT [I thought they were] 245's (predecessor to the 250) and they sound great, in a 250-ish way.