I agree, it just isn't enough. I run a Fluval 306 AND a 55/75 AND a homemade bottle floss filter in each 55 tank. In the 75 gallon I run a cascade 1000, 55/77 AND bottle filter. My 55 cichlid tank water is stunning and I probably have a couple too many in there. The 29 runs an aqua clear 70, aqueon 30 and a bottle.
So my 55's have 160 gallon filtering capacity, plus the extra mech from the bottle. Almost triple.
The 75 has 190 capacity, plus the extra mech from the bottle. Again, a bit less than triple.
The 29 gallon has 100 capacity, plus the extra mech from the bottle. Over triple.
I'm sure you will find similar numbers with most people.
As far as price, I've never paid full price. I use sales and rewards etc. The most I ever paid for a 306 is $129 and the cascade was $89. The HOB
's never paid more than $30. I prefer the 306's though. The prime on a cascade has alot to be desired. But it has a higher flow, has a nice spray bar, was REAL cheap and hasn't leaked so far.......
The waterfall noise isn't really going to go away. Canisters CAN be just as noisy. The fluval's have a simple 'U' chute which mostly stays under water, but the current still makes noise. The cascade has a spray bar, which I aim upwards and makes water noise. To me, quiet water means little/no surface agitation. A big no-no.
Hope this helps a little along with others input!