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If you are asking about using MapInstall (from the Basecamp menu) to install a map to your device, then yes, you will NOT get the JCV file or other special feature files that come with a map update. You should use Garmin Express to install the map to your device and computer. That way you will have the map in BaseCamp and all the feature files including JCV on your device.
There is something about that eBay listing that doesn't "smell" quite right to me. Before buying, I would at least ask the seller to provide some additional pictures, and also the product number shown on the box. The product number for the North America DriveAssist 51 LMT-S is 010-01682-02.
I believe that some UK models might still have the HD traffic receiver bundled, as the HD traffic service over there is quite popular and is apparently superior to the traffic service here in North America. Maybe some vendors bundled the HD receiver in special packaging, but like you I have not seen any 51/61 models being sold that way.
I don't have a Drive 51/61 to test camera alerts on, but AFAIK they still work. Maybe sussamb can expand on his comment.
Not necessarily. In addition to adding features on new models, Garmin also has a reputation for removing features that some people liked that were on older models. One example is the DEM map (digital elevation map). It shows terrain features when navigating in 3D mode. It was included on some higher end nuvi models starting in about 2012, but is not included on any of the newest Drive series. Also, some folks were quite upset several years ago when Garmin removed the MP3 and audio book players....
Is my assumption correct that this last unit will have the most advanced (or best looking?) software? Will it also be supported for the longest time? I'm curious.
As far as supporting old units, Garmin has a pretty good reputation for providing technical assistance, even on devices that are quite old and long out of warranty. New models get frequent software updates to work out the bugs. Usually after a year or two the software is pretty stable, so software updates for the older devices are rare but do happen occasionally. And map updates are still available for most devices in the nuvi series, some of which are now over 10 years old.
I think you will find Smartphone Link Traffic superior in both accuracy and coverage compared to the HD traffic with the GTM-60. I have both on my nuvi 3597LMTHD and there is no HD coverage at all in my local driving area, but the Smartphone Link coverage is quite good.
The main advantage of HD traffic with the GTM-60 is that it doesn't need a cellular signal, the smartphone, or its data allotment. However wherever there is no cellular signal you will find that there is no HD traffic coverage either.