Good A/C systems?

Looks like my outside A/C unit croaked today. It had power and 24VAC but was blowing the breaker. We had a lightning storm and a 5 year old messing with thermostat.
My old unit is about 6+ years old.
So. It appears that there is no option to just replace the outside unit, that I would have to replace both inside and outside units. (is that true?)
In any case, I would like some suggestions on well, honestly made A/C systems, I mean something that was made with durability in mind. A lot of companies provide "lists of features", but they hardly discuss how well made their units are.
I looked into mine and was not impressed. No overload protections of any kind, a lot of parts that should better be made with copper, made of steel and rusted, etc etc. And yet, I am sure it came with some long list of not so relevant features. So, before asking dealers, I want to ask this newsgroup to see if there are any honest makers of A/C systems.
i
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On Thu, 03 Aug 2006 07:23:38 GMT, Ignoramus2645

I have a 19 yr old Lennox unit; and it had its first service call this week. A rodent chewed through the thermostat wire at the exit from the basement wall to the condensor unit.
Sounds like the 5 yr old needs some training.
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I was having problems tripping breaker and blowing fuses with power glitches and found my thermostat didn't have the built in 5 minute delay for A/C activation after power failure or setting change. I picked up a Honeywell round digital model T8775C that has this feature.
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Often times, the time delay is part of the outdoor unit.
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Christopher A. Young
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Ignoramus2645 wrote:

I did not read all the way through the other two or more threads on this subject. The parts I did read did not establish that you need a replacement nor that you can't replace part of your relatively new system. I suggest you may want to bring in a professional with the knowledge and tools to find out exactly what your options are. If they agree you need a replacement, I suggest you ask their advice about what you should consider.
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Joseph Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

    In addition to that suggestion, he may find that his homeowners insurance will pay for the damage caused by lightning. It of course depends upon his policy and the deductible he has, but normally damage caused by lightning is covered.
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Yes, this is interesting. I will definitely have a pro go over the A/C unit, now that I do not think that it is not a simple matter. If they note lightning damage as cause of this, surely I will try to get compansated for it.
i
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Ignoramus1064 wrote:

    Lightning damage may require more than an AC technician to determine. A neighbor made a claim on his insurance after lightning struck a tree on my property near by. They took the compressor and opened it before they paid his claim. If you make a claim, do so now and save whatever components are replaced so that the claim can be investigated. It is doubtful they will pay without something other than the word of an AC man.
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I will call my insurance company now. Thanks.
A tech stopped by and said that the A/C needs to be replaced, and I believe him based on what I have seen myself.
i
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Good include Rheem, Rudd, Heil, Tempstar.
I've not worked with York, Carrier, or a couple of the other brands. Goodman, and Janitrol have a reputation of being poor quality.
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