My 2 cents: on my 5DII, PW tt mini + AC3, paired with two 580EXII with tt5's- not all that reliable all the time. I out up with it because I can futz with the exposure until I get it right, rather than count on it being right shot after shot. When I can't count on it at all, or when I fall into a ton of money, or when I just get sick of it I'll belly up and get a couple of 600EX- RT's and not look back.
What about Pocket Wizards with the AC3 zone controller vs. 600EXs with ST-E3-RT? Wouldn't those give fairly similar functionality? I have 3 x 430EX ii + 1 x 600EX-RT which I currently control with a Phottix Strato ii system, but there are times when I am using 2 or 3 lights and would like to make rapid changes from the camera position. Applying a flex/mini + AC3 system would probably work out cheaper than moving to more 600's but I'm interested to hear people thinking that the Canon system is far superior.
I've found the Phottix Stratos to be very reliable but obviously they don't have the functionality of the higher models and I haven't used them out to 80 feet as the OP was requesting.
The 580EXII has a lot of problems with the Flex/Mini - I gave up using the socks and the other "shields". Instead, I switched to a set of 430EXIIs, no shielding, and haven't had a single issue up to 250' or so. If I switch over to a Flex instead of Mini to transmit, I haven't had a single issue. It's just that 580 is noisy as all hell. You can always send the 580 out to be converted - it's just as solid then.
The worst was when I had a socked 580 in a softbox outdoors, the sun heated it up and it went psycho. I have yet to see anything out of the ordinary using a 430/no sock/softbox combo.
The AC3 does make setting ratios nice, and in manual mode, I can fire the setup with my Sekonic meter to measure ratios, etc without wires.
This all on a 1d3 and 1Ds3 setup. I've even hypersync'd up to 1/500s with acceptable results that didn't kick in HSS.
The reason I stick with PWs is that my Max's, Multimax and plus units can also be fired in studio without a dumb trigger installed. If I went straight 600rt's, I'd still have to keep a set of PWs (probably all multimax's) to fire all my studio lighting. I'll sometimes fire 6 heads, and still have to add 430s as kickers snooted. So, I just kept what I had and didn't spend on the 600's. It's the problems with systems, you get locked into "that" system once you get started. Since I already have tons of PWs, I just stuck with them.