So, I decide to buy my son a Garmin (205, like Brandy's 305 except no HRM) for his marathon training but of course I have to give it a little test with my morning ride. It recorded 1046' total ascent and 1052' total descent. I hope nobody on my block notices....
As for the Garmin, what a wonderful toy!! After you download the data, you get a crude map but nice elevation and speed graphs. You can move your cursor along the grade line and it will show you where on the map it is while showing the % grade. I have a Polar (710) and to get the same, I have to select parts of the ride and then report on the selection. The Garmin makes this info easier.
I also imported the stuff into the (free) MotionBased and it mapped the ride on a standard Google Map.