I am new to trading options in a serious way, but I have now worked with IB and with thinkorswim and I want to put in a plug for thinkorswim's software. They just came out with a new release that is exceptional. It lets you do market studies with live charts, essentially a prophet.net subscription built in and integrated very well. Also, they have a new alerts feature that lets you set complex conditions that will trigger emails to you, and it is all well integrated. Their Java app crashes very rarely and is well-behaved. They are a fabulous company to deal with. I will say that I do have doubts about their clearing firm, only because they are heavily leveraged (Penson BTW) and I have doubts about any heavily leveraged clearing firm these days. I have no financial interest in them whatsoever but I hope they continue to succeed in the marketplace.