I purchased this machine as a replacement for a Philips bread machine I've had for a couple of years. It's the third bread machine I've purchased for myself, and had bought its predecessor (the SD-250) for my Parents some time ago. My Philips packed up (the bread tin broke away from its base), and they don't make spares, so I have to throw the whole machine in the bin - definitely won't buy another Philips anything. My parents have been most impressed with the Panasonic, and it's been personally recommended to me by other people, so after reading all the reviews on Amazon.com I decided to buy one.
So, to the point, I'm thoroughly impressed with this machine. It is solid and quiet. I took the first loaf I made with it and sliced it to find an absolutely even loaf (even from the 1:55 rapid mode). All the other machines I've had have had some level of streaking or unevenness in the bread.
As for all the other criticism of the recipe book for its use of weight rather than volume measurements for flour, it is a far more accurate way of measuring flour for any baking. Also the manual has since been updated (no doubt as a result of these criticisms), and now shows the approximate volume equivalents in all the recipes.