I'll say this. I was in N for many many years. I'll never go back. For me, anyway, it's just too small when it comes to repairs; couplers, wiring, too thick/wide tires, tiniest screws. N is fine when it's running and certainly better than HO, train length-wise. As N HAS improved by leaps and bounds over the years, it makes me think, as long as the unit you buy IS of a much newer or newest run, I'd say buy it. Bachmann is very good now. I have the HO 'modernized 4-4-0' and it's sweet mechanically, electronically, sound-wise, and esthetically and is all metal. The tender is plastic (which is good as it's less weight to pull) The tender wheels are all metal and carry current as well as drivers. I also have the updated version of the 4-6-0 ten wheeler or 'Casey Jones' and ditto on quality (the headlight used to be anemic and now could burn out your retina !). I'd imagine the N versions must be the same high quality..Hope it works out the same for you..M.