I have been eyeing this recliner for about a week, frustrated that my nearest Costco does not have it plugged in (there's no outlet except high above in the ceiling rafters about 40' away) and therefore it can't be reclined — and nobody in the store or at Costco headquarters could tell me anything about the chair. Today, I happened to be near another store in the San Francisco area which does have it plugged in. Eureka! I got the answer to my main concern — the leg-rest does in fact ascend first, before the back begins to recline. This is not true with many conventional recliners (which recline the back simultaneously with lifting the leg-rest). Obviously, when viewing a movie, you would not want to be reclined and looking at the ceiling — yet it is quite likely you'd want to have your legs elevated as you watch while sitting up. So it makes sense that the leg-rest lifts first, and then the back reclines. Furthermore, unlike conventional recliners which don't allow you to stop at intermediate positions, the powered mechanism can be stopped at any point in its range of motion.
Unfortunately, the demo floor unit which is plugged-in happens to be broken. It still works sufficiently to answer my question about the leg-rest (and to judge the comfort of the chair), but the back jerks as it moves through the recline cycle, and it is obviously loose within its mechanism. This doesn't bode well as to the durability of the mechanism, though there's no question that one week of duty on a Costco salesfloor is probably more destructive than ten years in a typical home. I also noticed that the chair was backed up smack against a crate containing two palletized recliners, such that the back would leverage against the crate as it went into recline, causing the chair and the pallet it's mounted on to scoot away from the crate. That's no way to treat a recliner. I think I will probably buy a pair of these, as I have faith in the quality of most everything I've ever purchased from Costco. I don't specifically know what kind of warranty these carry, but I understand that Costco is very good about returns.
The motor is indeed made by Okin, which is widely-used in many brands of powered chairs, including several powered home recliners as well as lifting recliners and medical chairs and tables. I am hopeful that the chair is structurally well-built, and that the only cost-cutting aspect of the design is the use of naugahyde (or some such faux-leather) on the side and back panels. All seating and arm-contact surfaces are top grain leather which is very supple and should be rugged.