There weren't a lot of choices for me when I started. I bought the MTH G scale Dash 8 at first. I looked around for what else was available and just bought 2 more. I had a USA Trains SD40-2 as my very first G scale engine. It was a bad example. The gear boxes weren't right and still aren't to this day. I worked on them and reworked them without great success. I really think they were just defects.
That pushed me towards MTH even more as those Dash 8s just ran and ran without issues. Years went by and I longed for more modern stuff. I ended up building a few of my own and posted those here on this forum. They all ended up with spare MTH parts inside for proven reliability.
I later got more USA Trains and tried all sorts of mods. I replaced the small factory wheels, redid the gears, & of course installed MTH's sound and smoke units. I bought other brands as well. I just go back to my standard MTH diesels that haven't failed me. I wish it didn't take so long for the new SD70ACE to come along. I would have bought a dozen by now. Instead I have several other brand shelf queens and picky runners.
I'll be back with more models.
What's your favorites and stories?