I'd been looking at, and handling, a few other single hobs before buying this one, so what impressed me out of the box was that this one actually has some weight to it -- the top disc seems pretty thick so I don't expect it to warp. Also, the rubber legs on the bottom combined with the weight mean that it doesn't slip around. So it's all nice and solid. The brushed-finish stainless steel top cover seems very thin, not even 0.8 mm / 20 guage by the looks of it, but I can't see how this matters as it's not especially structural and cleans the same regardless.
The dial seems sturdy and turns and audibly clicks on and off fine, but the numbers are simply raised, not painted, so you really have to peer at them close up to see them (mind long hair!). The light comes on when the hob is in the process of heating -- which means that even when the light isn't on, it doesn't mean that the dial isn't turned to a cooking position, as the hob may simply have reached the desired temperature, waiting to come back on when the temperature drops. So perhaps it may be an idea to leave the hob unplugged when not in use, as if you're not close up it's difficult to see if it's turned on or not (I can imagine an undesirable scenario involving a child). I was surprised that the plug wasn't injection moulded -- I thought they all were today; but still, that makes the plug easier to change, for instance, if doing a European two-pin conversion.
The hotplate is 18.5 cm diameter and recommended for up to 20 cm pans (good wok size as a previous reviewer says). It heats up quite quickly, and it really does cook. Considering the beneficial effect this product can have on your life (cooking!) and the overall build quality, I'm very pleased with it and think it's well worth the money. Will report back if longer-term testing changes that opionion!