I like that the SmartThings Hub supports all of the right home automation protocols–Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Ethernet. I like that there’s a simulator, that development is done in Groovy (a cool new language based on Java), and most everything is open source. Other outstanding features include mode changes that allow my apps to act differently depending on whether you are home, away, or asleep; compatibility with most home automation products; secure remote access via the cloud; an integrated mobile user interface; and easy access to third party data such as Weather Underground. The cost is moderate (around $80), but you really don’t want to go cheap on something you plan to have for many years and will use everyday.
There are a lot players in this market and others have their merits. However, considering all factors that matter to me, SmartThings is the clear winner. I do have complaints–the simulators does support all devices types, the development environment has some oddities that are hard to remember, and there’s no app store–but otherwise I’m happy.
You can read more about the SmartThings Hub and all of the device with which it is compatible here.