Embedded systems have been the most important users of processors in terms of number of processors that have used. Considering a few factors, LPC1343 (Olimex LPC P1343) and LPC1769 (NXP OM13000) development boards are something any embedded developers may want to take a look at.
- They are based on main stream ARM architecture. (In the sense that ARM is one of the two standard/mainstream RISC architectures – MIPS and ARM).
- They use standard 32 bit C toolchain.
- LPC17xx has a MPU builtin, thus you can load it with uCLinux or other protection based OS. That means more complicated software application you can build into your product.
- Due to the reasons above, it will be easier to find qualified engineers, and to find industrial quality reference designs.
This is just my 2c. After all, it is the developer who has to make a call call to consider not only the initial cost but also the subsequent easiness to design, develop, deploy/sell your product, at a volume you envision, and at a speed it makes your product profitable.
There is a blog about why you should use lpc1768 OM13000 here: The ARM Cortex-M3 processor for scientific instruct development. See it for the reasons why you should look at lpc1700 series.