When comparing this machine to products available from NordicTrack or Proform it is hard to recommend the AFG. They just don't have the features or the design to compete with these other brands.
Before the retail shakeout/consolidation, Treadmill Doctor believed that Johnson might get some distribution with the AFG line, but with few dealers left, they haven't caught on in the specialty channel. They surprised us by gaining distribution through Sears.com and the new Sears "specialty store" concept, and that has saved the AFG line from being a proverbial dinosaur.
Quality / Philosophy
We gained a much greater understanding of Johnson's business in the past few years with our visit to their headquarters and facilities in Taiwan and China. Johnson is the most integrated manufacturer of fitness equipment in the world. This can be both good and bad. The good is that you are in control of almost all aspects of production. The bad is that you are in control of almost all aspects of production. If you mess up, there is no one else to blame. Since they really seem to be focused on doing things the right way, it appears that this is a case where the good prevails. We were impressed with their quality procedures, design, and testing processes, and the reviews will reflect these facts..
Johnson has established themselves as one of the largest and most stable companies in this business, and they certainly have their act together. We have confidence in their ongoing product support of all the lines that they produce, but we also expect big results with their partnership with Sears..