I consider honda atvs as the toyotas of the atv world. Yup there reliable but like you said there always years behind in technology and sell for more then the others. They let everyone else do the R&R because they dont have to. They can sell 3 year old technology because people are brain washed into thinking there the best. Even yamaha is leaning that way as of late. That old 700 griz is a great bike (i own one) but that motor is long in the tooth and should have been replaced with a good twin cyl motor years ago. Its a 700 that puts out less hp then most 550s today do. Ive been waiting 3 years now to replace mine. It still runs well but im ready for something new but cant see plunking down 10k for the same thing i already have. If i HAD to replace mine today id look seriously at can am and polaris. There the real innovators in the atv/side by side market.While Honda excels in bulletproof reliability, I think it does so at the expense of innovation in design.
If you have any interest in sporty riding at all I would suggest Yamaha over Honda.
This from a guy riding a 19 yr old Arctic Cat
I need a kinder gentler machine gun
My Rhino 2009 450 Hunter is used the exact same way. She does a little trail riding, berry picking, etc. She gets an annual shop visit for normal maintenance and that's it. Last week, I ordered a Massimo 60 inch snow blower so she doesn't get bored this winter. We're on 120 acres on Michigan's Upper Peninsula...we get some snow.