First of all - let me say - ouch. Took me a week, to post this. Owwww. Anyway ...
First time outside - in stabilize mode - 3DR hexa-B with sonar and GPS - The pic shows the results of trying to fly in a not very spacious area in my front yard, during a warm spell - first time outside. It got high enough, that I couldn't make out which way was front, with the blue and black arms silhouetted against the sky - they all looked dark. So, to stop it from drifting into a nearby tree, while I sorted out which way was forward, I dropped the throttle - and it's not a plane - it plummeted to the ground from 15' up, landed on two arms - and the picture above tells the story- two motors (one with a broken case, one with a bent shaft, two broken props, and two mangled arms - one I was able to fix.
Now - I'm playing the 3DR delivery game - waiting for shipment of parts I ordered last Monday (the 7th).
After I get the parts - I'll reassemble - and besides enabling stabilize, I'll also enable alt hold and loiter.
What's really necessary - for all multicopters - is a flying mode - where letting go of the sticks results in the multicopter remaining in place. And where resuming flight is painless. Throttle should be at mid point, when copter is hovering in place, IOW.
This is the minimum functionality that all multicopters should have. It's the starting point. Everything else is secondary.
Looking into sources for cheaper frames, motors and ESCs too. That said, I think a hexa was the wrong choice for learning - too many arms and motors to break. So I plan to switch to a quad, after the next crash.