I make no bones about being a Weber fan so my info is biased that way. Vermont makes a nice product, however it's an import (it's made in Canada for Vermont). Earlier this year Vermont was having problems with their regulators, I think they got a bad batch, and it took them a few weeks to get replacements out to customers. If you take a close look at the flavorizers you will notice a series of holes in them, these create hot spots on the cooking surface. If your friends are looking at the 9050 (the $599 unit) they can pick up a Weber Gold C for the same price and come away with a side burner and a much better warranty, along with all of Weber's other pluses. I have customers every day that are still cooking on Webers that are 15 to 20 years old and all they do is call the 800 # and get parts if they need them. Weber supports their customers like none of the othe grill makers even think about. Weber is the only maker that uses a fully welded frame in the price range. Their coatings are of a level that the others only dream about, just compare a Vermont grate to a Weber and you'll see what I mean. I sell a bunch of Webers every week and I display them right beside the Vermonts, If a customer asks for a Vermont I'll load it for them. If they come and and want to purchase a grill I just show them the differences and load up their Weber.
Weber "Q", Weber Performer, Weber 22.5" Bar-B-Kettle