PJ will be along shortly to tell you about his Lee Turret press, more than likely... ;D
I should have written this Lee response in a Word document and just stuck it in my Document files, I bet I've written it 50 times by now.
Okay, in a nutshell, here it is:
All reloading equipment is over built. Lee is LESS overbuilt than most. But it's also cheaper, because they use castings to save money. I've done some pretty extensive case-forming on my turret press, and it hasn't come unglued yet. I just re-mounted it to my bench, and I could probably hang 500 pounds from it without worry. If that's not overbuilt, I don't know what is.
Lee dies are usually cheaper, yet they come with shellholders the other guys make you pay $5-10 for. I think that's stupid.
I prefer Lee dies over most others. If I need benchrest precision, I might look elsewhere, but most of my dies are Lee's, and I've shot groups in a dozen calibers that would make benchresters proud. Or mad, if they were shooting against me. My Marlin 30-30 has put NUMEROUS bolt gunners to shame, and the ammo is made up using the Lee scoops, their standard dies, and decent bullets. The only bad dies I ever had were from RCBS. I'm not saying RCBS makes crummy stuff, I'm just saying that in the luck of the draw, that's how it worked out. But I have over two dozen sets of Lee dies, and they all serve me fire.
The Lee scale? Never had one, but people seem to either hate it or tolerate it. I have a Lyman, because I found it on sale.
What I like about Lee is that they understand that reloaders are a cheap bunch, which is why they started reloading in the first place. Lee makes good, solid products, often very innovative, and sells them at a fair price. I like Lyman's stuff, too, but every time I see their price list I start looking for the diamonds and gold bars used to make their equipment. It is almost always WAY overpriced, and I've never understood why. It's not radically different, or better, AFAICT.
And since some here would be disappointed if I didn't bring this up ( hello, Dennis!), my Lee Turret press has churned out several
hundred thousand rounds of ammo, is still going strong, and shows no sign of wearing out. In fact, I just bought several more turrets for it, and some PVC pipe to hold the turrets. I have no doubt my kids will be using this press long after I'm gone.
See all the red stuff in this picture? It's about half of the Lee stuff I own, there isn't room to display it all.
If your buds brag on how strong their loading gear is, you can always brag about how much money you saved on gear that's just as good without being ridiculously overbuilt. ;D