Before purchasing, I was going to the Y with my wife. We didn't want to buy any expensive equipment unless we were ready.
After working out for about 6 months doing 30 minutes on their elliptical, summer was coming and that meant more work and less time for us so we purchased the M5 and quit the gym. They claimed this machine would do the same work out in 15 minutes that we could do in 30 minutes on other machines.
It only took about one week to receive it and I put it together myself. If you read the directions it's like putting together a piece of furniture. Not difficult but I am mechanically inclined so it may have been easier for me.
The first time on my wife could not push the peddles to go. She is little and is used to the machines that are very loose shall I say. I got on and figured out after pressing the program you want, you have to put your wait on one side to get it to go. After that it is easy. However, the program is not. Your feet move differently than other ellipticals, not harder or easier, just different than the ones at the Y. I did the 15 minute weight loss and when I am done, I have never been worked so hard. It beats the 30 minutes I was doing hands down. I really love it!
I will say also I think it provides just as much strength as weight loss. I have never felt this strong before. The price is up there and that is the bad part but if you think you will use it regularly than it is worth it. It is without a doubt the most durable machine I have ever had.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend