The human mind is a wonderful thing, if you want it to, it can rationalize almost anything. Let's see if I can set up the story: I'm going through my annual or even shorter push to "clean the shop out" to get back to just the tools I need and use. Yep, Bubba, sure you will do that just like the last time. Only this time I mean it, really, pinky swear it will happen, mean it.
In looking at my tools and trying to decide which ones will end up on the Ark and which will go I realized there wasn't a Clifton plane in the lot of 'em. How could I make a decision as important as who stays and who gets thrown overboard without having tried one of the major players? Good question with only one answer. "Hello Tools For Working Wood could you send a #4 Clifton down Tucson way". BTW, I've already sent my Veritas planes down the plank. They are nice, beautifully made planes but I just can't develop any love for Norris adjusters and I have really tried.
It is a nice plane. Better than the other two, not really, just a little different and not much of that. Of the three it is the heaviest at a 2137 grams, the LN with a Veritas O1 cutter weights 2001 grams, and of course the Stanley with a Japanese iron is the lightest at 1654 grams.
I like the "bun" knob on the Clifton and the plane feels good, if a little heavy. in hand. Its one advantage over LN is a OEM O1 cutter. For some of us that is a big advantage.