COMFLICTING ADVICE: MILGARD VS. POLYBAU WINDOWS

I'm replacing my 14 windows and 2 patio doors (all retrofit) and would like your advice.
My neighbor (who is a general contractor for new construction) says Milgard is the best hands down. He's never heard of Polybau or Atrium (another line I was looking at) though ... so I am wondering if there's enough basis for comparison. He knows a really reliable Milgard installer so if I went with M I wouldnt have to worry about shoddy work.
I went to ALLBRAND WINDOWS showroom in San Jose CA and looked at their Polybau and Milgard samples ... and to my untrained eye ... Polybau seems sturdier and has 2 locks and a brass roller as opposed to the 1 lock and plastic roller Milgard. My sales rep says she's been replacing a lot of leaking Milgards and that Atrium is an inferior product ... and I forgot to ask her why she's selling those lines in the 1st place. GRRR.
Is proper installation more important than picking the "right" window? Would it be wise to buy Polybau and ask my neighbor's trusty Milgard installer to install it? Would the Polybau warranty still be in effect then??? And is argon gas necessary for Northern California???
Please offer any and all advice, ideas or anecdotes. This is $$$ and I want to be informed. SORRY 4 LONG POST. THANK YOU SO MUCH
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Andersen, Pella, Western, would be a few that I would consider. I recently purchased 2 BetterBuilt fixed windows for my kitchen. Nicely put together and the discount I got pushed the sale. I got the low E windows and wish now that I had paid the $7.00 for the next grade up.
I have seen atrium glass doors and well, I always take out siders and put in French doors. Almost as much light and the view is not all that obstructed. I remember a long time ago that sliding doors facing west in Arizona could add a ton of load for the a/c. Since it is going to be warm this week, 115 F cooling loads are a big consideration for me.
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I'm replacing my 14 windows and 2 patio doors (all retrofit) and would like your advice.
My neighbor (who is a general contractor for new construction) says Milgard is the best hands down. He's never heard of Polybau or Atrium (another line I was looking at) though ... so I am wondering if there's enough basis for comparison. He knows a really reliable Milgard installer so if I went with M I wouldnt have to worry about shoddy work.
I went to ALLBRAND WINDOWS showroom in San Jose CA and looked at their Polybau and Milgard samples ... and to my untrained eye ... Polybau seems sturdier and has 2 locks and a brass roller as opposed to the 1 lock and plastic roller Milgard. My sales rep says she's been replacing a lot of leaking Milgards and that Atrium is an inferior product ... and I forgot to ask her why she's selling those lines in the 1st place. GRRR.
Is proper installation more important than picking the "right" window? Would it be wise to buy Polybau and ask my neighbor's trusty Milgard installer to install it? Would the Polybau warranty still be in effect then??? And is argon gas necessary for Northern California???
Please offer any and all advice, ideas or anecdotes. This is $$$ and I want to be informed. SORRY 4 LONG POST. THANK YOU SO MUCH
Add pictures here
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