In my experience, for point to point simplex (no repeater) 2 meter (144 Mhz) works better in rural or country side type area better and 70cm (440 Mhz) works better in urban areas around large buildings. I've noticed in down town type areas where there is a lot of RF noise, that you get more inter-modulation problems on 2 meter than on 70 cm and that in the country side the vegetation seems to be harder on the UHF (70 cm) than it is on the VHF (2 meter) signals.
If you are using repeaters, you will still get the inter-modulation around the skyscrapers, but they help a lot in the rural areas.
Just my two cents.
Doctor Jest wrote:
70 cm is, in my opinion, only partially useful. If you can get it as a free extra on a handheld, okay, but don't pay extra for it.
There are also repeaters for the 70 cm band, and the 1.25 meter band (440 MHz and 220 MHz). There are not as many 70 cm repeaters as there are for 2 meters, but there are a lot. If you had a dual radio you could talk on both sets of repeaters.
If your local ham buddies gab on a 70 cm repeater, you may want to invest in the dual rig. But 2 meters is more popular and it seems like not quite enough return for the extra cash to me.
This really depends on the location. Around big metro areas all of the 2m repeater pairs have been taken and activity "swarms over" into 440.
Around here, there are probably about 2 times as many 440 repeaters as 2m. And many of the "high level" repeaters have their 2m and 440 MHz sides linked.
In general, if I've got a choice of 2m and 440 MHz bands, I stick with the higher one as the noise levels are lower. But that's a pretty specialized quirk...