It seems as if the only Panasonic units that come out of a Japanese plant are
"flagship" models (at least in the recent past).
The -EH75VS was their first attempt at combining a hard drive/dvd recorder/vcr
all on one chassis. They seem to want to "get it right the first time" (and generally succeed), as opposed to many other manufacturers that use us as "testers" for their products (and generally fail).
The good news is that the Panasonic plant in China is just that, a Panasonic plant
, so their Chinese products are built to a higher standard, as opposed to most units that originate from a typical sub-contractor who's producing garbage under a whole variety of so called "name brands" and otherwise!
that might explain why the -EH55S is a reliable, well constructed unit!