Having just received my first order from Itead, I thought I'd detail my [u]positive[/u] experience.
The NANO-sized two-sided board to surface mount MCP 2551 and 2515 CAN chips and ancillary components was designed and gerbers generated with DesignSpark. Gerber file name suffixes were changed to match what Itead wants. Traces are 10 mil signal and 15 mil power. Two boards (slightly different, one with ground plain copper fill, the other without) were panelized into each 5 X 5 space.
ordered Oct 18
Itead requested change in gerber Oct 19 (add outline rectangle around the paired boards)
revised files sent same day
fabbrication started Oct 20
shipped Oct 29
I failed to note when HKPost said it left Hong Kong, but
"arrived destination", i.e. in Italy, Nov 10
arrived my address Nov 13 (remarkable for Dogana Italiana - I've had as much as 15 day delays at this step)
I wasn't in a rush, so avoided expedited shipping - not only is the shipping cost higher, but one pays 21% value added tax here on that, but not on postage (and I've not had all that good service from DHL, FedEx and the like anyway).
The boards themselves seem first rate. They are not very complex, and the traces aren't tiny, but they are certainly not something I could do in my home shop. This is the first time I haven't etched my own boards, and I don't think that I will ever etch another!
BTW. On another thread there was a discussion of how to cut apart panelized boards using Dremel or hack saw. I have a simpler way that doesn't raise lots of fiberglass dust. I score both sides with a "plastic laminate scoring knife" and straight edge, snap them apart and clean the edges with a file. Short of having a proper shear, this seems about the simplest and cleanest way to go. An alternative might be an old-fashioned guillotine (sp?) paper cutter, but I haven't tried that and don't have one. The scoring laminate knife has a hard, maybe carbide, triangular insert that easily scores the board. I also have a thinner plastic (i.e. plexiglass) scoring knife, but it doesn't hold an edge when used on fiberglass whereas the one for Formica could probably cut 1000's of boards without wear.