While I think the PandwaRF is a cool device, it would cost me more than a Chinese clone of a BladeRF to get one in the states. Making the hardware seems like a fun project, but I'm unsure of the firmware. The Nordic Firmware is available, but it seems the CC1111 firmware isn't. Is a homemade PandwaRF usable with the RFCat firmware? What limitations would there be?
You can make your own PandwaRF if you want. This is why we have made the schematics available. However be careful as some of the components are in LGA package (ISP130301), not the kind of thing you really want to solder yourself, trust me. Our next version (end 2018) will probably based on a "raw" Nordic package, eg. QFN.
For the FW side: * the Nordic FW is not an issue, assuming you know how to program a chip (cf. github.com/ComThings/PandwaRF/wiki/Hardware-Programming). * the CC1111 FW is more difficult as we don't provide binaries. Of course you can us a RfCat FW and modify it, but it might be a bit of work (add UART support, Power management, new RF features, etc...)
As I already said previously, the force of PandwaRF resides in the SW/FW, not the HW So when you buy the HW, you buy all the SW work behind.
Did you look at the PandwaRF bare versions (with or without FW) ?