Sadly commercialism is the name of the game. 24 Hour fitness has replaced their perfectly good Nautilus fitness machines with a new brand Hoist. Not exactly bad, but I prefer the Nautilus Machines. I currently have an additional gym membership to a private gym with the nautilus amchines, just to keep certain excersizes in my arsenal.
I came into bodybuilding when Yates became king, and since find a reliable training partner isn't easy, I use mostly machines for safety (you don't need a spotter to train to failure). Free weights aren't superior, it is only a matter of preference. As far as powerlifting and Westside barbell, they are diffrent animals, same family, diffrent animals! That is why you hear louie Simmons claiming they don't work, but Dave Tate, who has written an abundance of Westside training articles, has come to terms and explained the effectiveness of many machines in musclebuilding strength work!