Harken gear isn't cheap, they're just using modern materials instead of technology that is over 100 years old. Harken also deliberately removes weight were it is not needed. Anderson doesn't have any interest in light weight options. They are very nice winches, but extremely heavy.
They are using modern materials ON technology that is over 100 years old. I'm all for inovation and evolution. I'm also of the opinion that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The Andersen products seem like they will stand the test of time, and for a cruising sailor, who wants a trustworthy and quality product, they seem to me to be the best option. They are not EXTREMELY heavy, more like: they are worth their weight!
I was convinced by Harken's marketing that the new Radials were a quality product, until i did further research on the forums and found that some people complained about certain types of lines slipping. Then i realized that the winches are made in Italy which to me represents a lesser quality manufacturing process (slightly better than "Made in China"). Finally, i realized that the price of the winches were CONSIDERABLY cheaper than other makes, not only the Andersens, which are of course the most expensive.
All this made me realize that i was skimping on the one piece of gear that should be the most trustworthy of all on a sailboat! If you can't winch in your sheets and halyards, you can't sail effectively. And if you can't sail effectively, you might as well not sail at all. Hence sending back the Harkens and ordering the Andersens (which i got for a great price btw: Andersen Winch No.40ST - 2 Speed
Something has to be said in defence of quality gear and how unfortunately more and more manufacturers are willing to compromise on quality for the sake of more revenue (yes, i am talking about Rocna here too...).