how to choose windows

Hi all,
I want to replace a few windows in my 40-something-year-old house. I heard that Andersen are considered the best, but that they are quite expensive, and also require an expensive installation in order to maintain warranty.
Are there reasonable alternatives in terms price/quality combination?
Also, what is the deal with vinyl versus wood?
Any information and/or recommendation is highly appreciated. Thanks in advance,
Arkadiy
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Consumer Reports has an old test of apx 23 windows you can buy, EnergyStar.gov will give you good information. I have Anderson and Pella. The "best", there are many different areas to compare a window on, you have to know what you need and want.
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Journal of Light Construction compared windows a year or two ago. Check their web site. As mRansley notes, "best" is a variable term. Different climates require different glazing. TB
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Arkadiy wrote:

What do you mean by expensive installation? I just had a dozen Andersons installed, and the procedure wasn't any different than any other window.
I had 400s installed, but you can get 200s for much less if cost is a concern.
-CF
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