We are doing a cottage/craftsman style whole house remodel in San Diego a few blocks from the beach and I am trying to decide between Andersen E Series windows and Integrity by Marvin, both with pine interior. Of course, in San Diego our climate is pretty mild, although the front of our house does face west, so we get a lot of afternoon sun/heat in the summer. We steered away from Jeld Wen Siteline because I am concerned that the paint on the aluminum exterior won't hold up well in the sun and salt air. I was all set to purchase Integrity windows when we were offered the Andersen E Series for about the same price as the Integrity windows. My understanding is that the E Series typically sells for significantly more that the Integrity windows, so this sounds like a good deal. On the E Series side, I like the thicker wood you seem to get with an aluminum clad product (rather than the more veneer-like strips that come on the fiberglass products) and since it has the kynar finish, it should hold up pretty well over the years (although reading some of the posts on this forum, it seems that not all kynar finishes are equivalent). On the Integrity side, fiberglass seems like a really durable and good looking material and it matches the other Marvin products so you can substitute Marvin Ultimate aluminum clad products in key places (like the Marvin aluminum clad French doors, which in my opinion look a lot better than Integrity doors and a little bit better than the E Series E doors), although adding Marvin items greatly increases the overall price. They both seem to use the same 366 glass.
So, if the E Series and Integrity are priced equally, any thoughts on which is the better value? Is the E Series clearly the better product? Any other thoughts or advice?