We had a version very similar to the wooden one (not ELC, but same design) and it was rubbish - it just kept falling apart. DS1 is lobbying hard for the other one for his 4th birthday (and I think it comes with free box of cars, which we need like a hole in the head, but anyway). DS2 used to have it in his nursery room and I think it was quite good.
I know. I am similarly drawn to the wooden things and unfortunately my children adore platic crap.
I gave DS1 an ELC catalogue and he studies it very carefully in order to draw up his (verrry long) list of suggestions. It's actually quite helpful because although he wants pretty much everything, he does go back to certain things over and over again, so I figure it'll be helpful for giving ideas to the grannies at b'day and Xmas.
ds has had the plastic one for a couple of years now ... it is great but a few of the signs/bits do fall off if you move it around - they only have to be pushed back in so it isnt really a biggy. Its pretty good quality and his came with a box of free cars. Have you got the code for 20% off from the birthday club? That always helps!
OK, thanks for all the advice. We went to the ELC this morning, I showed DS both garages which were set up in the shop... and he chose a workbench instead! Not interested in garages at all. There's always Xmas if he changes his mind!