Jvoth, I've never had a complaint about the Fortress. The 4 chair row was from the first theater(brought them with me when I moved) so their ~ 6 years old. For the last 3-4 years they sat in an alcove off of the living room and have been used daily, especially by the wife and kids who would sit in them and read, do homework etc. Although the leather stretched a little, the seat padding has not broken down in the least, the arm rests, stitching etc.. still look new. The Front row was purchased about a year and 1/2 ago while I still had an optimistic time line for this theater. The price had increased ~30% since I purchased the 4 chair row.
These are the Californians, Fortress's entry level chair, and although they are only 1/2 or less the price of other fortress chairs, they are still ~ 2x or more the price of berklines/coasters/pallisers etc.. by the time you add the power recline to them.
In my opinion, Fortress builds a better chair, but the price is a tough pill to swallow if your buying 6-8 chairs at a time..
As a side note, I had looked extensively at the Elite chairs and their model Cl-M was the same quality and workmanship as the fortress Californian but at the time I bougth the first row they were ~ 1k more per chair. The elite is now at the same price point since the Californians price increase. I think the Elite Cinema chair has better styling and provides another option in a mid level priced chair
Both the Cl-M and Californian are made to stock for quick ship as I understand it, while other fortress and elite chairs are custom built to order.