I have always liked to exercise, but it was a hassle because I had to go to the Y and there were certain times when the lines would be long. Also, I've always liked walking, but I don't feel like I get as good of a workout. I was never a runner, either. I always had excuses not to go to the Y or not to go walk outside because I would rather elliptical. After I moved into an apartment somewhat far from the Y, I decided to go and buy an elliptical. I figured if I spend $600 on a machine, it will need to last 2 years in order to be the same as a membership at the YMCA.
I bought a Horizon E95 model, which they do not make anymore, but I think Horizon makes great newer machines. The only problem I have had was a bar on the footplate cracked, so I had to get a new piece, which was $80. I was afraid the machine was broken forever, but it wasn't a problem to replace it.
This machine has 3 different paths or you can choose to set your own. I do the hill climb from the top level. The main problem people have with ellipticals is that because you set the pace, you can slow down easily. I use the mileage counter on mine to make sure I'm moving quick enough. I try to get .75/mi. every 15 minutes.
I have my elliptical set up in my guest room where I have a TV. I purposely elliptical on the days/times when I know I have TV shows on. It takes my mind off the actual exercise, and keeps me from getting bored.
The elliptical is very low impact, but really delivers results - 50 lbs! Because it's not strenuous on the muscles, I ellipticalled for 45 minutes every day, and on the weekends I would do either a 1 hour session or 2 45 minute sessions.