why can't people just buy the ****ing bike that they want without asking about it online? don't you people have real friends who already ride? maybe you could try out someone else's bike and actually experience it for yourself. or better yet, find a shop with the bike you want and test ride it. or ask someone who works in a shop that you trust about these bikes, they're certainly going to know more about it than joe shmoe haro fan on the internet. make friends with the kids who ride in your area. most people in the real world are actually pretty nice if you give them a chance...even me.
this topic seriously shows up at least once a week, and it's usually about the same three bikes, or about bikes in the same price range. do kids actually READ this forum before they post? does it really matter that six kids say "OMG LIKE TOTALLY GET A HARO BECAUSE IT IS TEH BESTEST AND BESIDES LIKE, THE HOFFMAN IS SUPER HEAVY!!!" or if another six say "DUUUUUDE! GET A HOFFMAN!!"?
go to the different companies' websites and look at the specs if you can't find them at a shop. a full 4130 frame is better than hi-ten steel, which is what most haros tend to be made of. i think hoffman may have outsourced a bunch of his frame building needs, so he may actually be using hi-ten on some of his lower end bikes nowadays too. hi-ten steel is on the whole more flexy than 4130. if you're looking at getting into flatland or any kind of riding for that matter, flex=bad. it sucks up your energy and you end up having to work a lot harder to pull of certain tricks or even just pedal down the street.
flatland frames are generally really short, anywhere from 18" to 19.75" top tubes and usually 13.75" chainstay length. short frames are easier to move around for tricks and such, but you won't be able ride much street on one. there's also this myth that flatland frames aren't as strong as street frames. this is bullsh*t. the stresses that are put on a flatland frame are about equal to those that are put on street frame. true, a flatland bike isn't going to be experiencing the same jarring impact-type stresses, but, if it's a quality frame, it will be able to handle them.
another thing to look for is good stock components. if you're just getting into flatland, then the most important thing i'd say is that you get a bike with 3-piece cranks on it and decent pedals and decent wheels. get large diameter, knurled pegs so your feet won't slip off. handlebars and detanglers are personal preference, you can figure out that what you like once you've tried a few things out. a lot of flatlanders tend to use smaller, easier gear ratios. again, personal preference.
my preference would be a standard TAO frame. just because they're hand built, super stiff, and strong enough to take any abuse you can throw at it. they also cost about $300 for just the frame, a major investment for someone who is just beginning.
if you had looked at previous topics about flatland bikes you would have found pretty much all of this information right there for you, along with the typical "DUUUUDE GET A HARO!!!" or "HOFFMANS ARE THE BEST!!" without any justification whatsoever. there are a lot of idiots on this forum. i'm not one of them. i'm just uppity.