Some of those are the usual suspects, though I've not played Azumi, Amadeus, Avanti, Di Zhao, Lyric, Dean Yang.
BTW has anyone ever dealt with Briolette flutes (not pics)? I know the company died, and there's no info online. And that they're Chinese...
If you looking for a reliable, well constructed flute which will not become a technician's nightmare, then I must recommend in the following order:
1) Yamaha 371H, 471H (however some are saying for the price just get the 271 and upgrade a good headjoint as you progress which is not a bad strategy for economy) - student yams are built like a tank, economical to service as you do not need to make multiple side trips every so often for adjustment which some other brands on your list does. http://www.jennifercluff.com
Own a 371 ($770 MINT fr ebay last year) and am loving it more and more. Great value.
2) Jupiter step up or intermediate - have heard great things about this. Great value. Affiliated to Altus. Great sounding. Not sure about maintenance.
3) Altus 807,907 ($1050-1500) Miyazawa 202 ($1400-1700) or Muramatsu EXIII ($2200) - these you can get quality secondhand ones well within your budget from reputable resellers - I got my Altus and Miyazawa from ebay (shock n horror!) but they came MINT and after some embouchure adjustment, what a dream to play. The only qualifier is that in Australia, these babies need to be serviced by special technicians and they charge an arm and a leg for their annual service. But properly adjusted they put you in good stead to go the distance with simple headjoint upgrade. Superior construct and what a pleasure to play. For secondhand go no more than 3 years old. (Lyric is an entry level Miyazawa)
Rave reveiws about the Azumi 3000 which comes with the bells and whistles of an advanced flute. You can buy one new just within your budget. Tone is reportedly beautiful but not sure about durability and maintenance needs.
During my purchasing process I had also read on the internet about some horror stories of how fragile some of the brands you've listed are and parent's having to make multiple trips to the technician for constant adjustments. These would be the student models and users would be careless kids. However these comments were from a few years ago and may not apply anymore. Google for comments on Trevor James and Pearl. There was a blog by a technician himself but I can't find it. Will post link if I find it.
Forgive me for getting ahead of myself (above). But I am currently intrigued by the Guo flutes, if you are open minded enough, seriously consider one. Even professionals use their mid to high end and are raving about it.
So - if you are brave enough, get the GUO New Voice. As Giant Bike's has somewhat become the Trek/Cannondale of the east, perhaps the GUO will become the Powell/Abell of the future. Mellow colors and tone. LIGHTWEIGHT (for the v young or v old) Ease all registers. Easy maintenance, wash and wipe or simply wipe down. No need to oil (as in wooden flutes) nor worry about temperature fluctuations which could affect flute mechanisms even the metal ones. I hear that the Guo keys are unlikely to wear out and maintenance is mininum. Ticks all boxes for me. Tonal colours easily coaxed. Lightweight, portable Waterproof.
Grenadite Original (<$2000) plays like a reputable wooden flute - maybe even better. Suits baroque, celtic musos
Grenadite II ($2300-2800) just out and headjoint cut is handfinished for even better tonal properties
New Voice ($1000) - big, rich and mellow tones not as woody a tad brighter - rave reviews from virtually everyone, jazz and baroque
Tocco ($600-700) - wow for the price but take a listen ... Riccardo Ghiani and Silvia Careddu plays TOCCO flute by GUO during Masterclass @ Bosa (OR) in Sardinia on July.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym73vdVo ... e=youtu.be
And FruitCakeJam, S'pore with a bit of mando-pop =D (my new discovery) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPdctead ... re=related
Gotta love these guys.
Kudos to Guo who knows the market. In our current economic climate plus penchant for travel, I will not be surprised if the Guos become the more popular alternative to the masses as they give alot of bang for their buck. The ecclectic of course will always stick to their favourie boutique brands. But most of us are a little bit of BOTH =D