particularly the larger volume batches of whites, but would like some help with the pros and cons of the various available filtering systems. Let's say I can pull together $200-$300...what systems would/do you recommend? I don't yet have a kegging/CO2 setup.
It is what it is...a stress-relieving philosophy for a long life!
I have the Buon Vino Mini Jet Wine Filter. This seems to be the standard for most home wine makers before some move up to the more expensive Super Jet Filter. The Mini Jet works fine though I find that the time it takes to sanitize, filter, and clean it is generally more trouble than it's worth. It does a very good job but I don't mind a small amount of sediment. If I was going to enter the wine or mead into a competiton I might consider it.
You have to buy filters and change them after each use. There are three progressively finer filters that some use for each batch. I've used mine exactly twice and only used a single filter (medium) then.
Some hobbyists really enjoy the time they spend tinkering with their hobby. I've seen people actually number the corks in their bottles according to the order in which they were bottled. Likewise, some people enjoy filtering. I don't.