Firstly a Tamiya isn't $1000 unless its a leopard. Second even impact tracks (arguably the best) are $130-140 tops. So that's one thing.
I have the leopard and the only issue I had was with the idler adjusters not having fine adjustments possible. Fixed with a £30 upgrade. People who crack the suspension arms tend to have them screwed in too tight. My Leo runs great on all surfaces, has the best Tamiya sounds, nifty lighting etc. Also you can rebuild the entire tu for £20. Worst case scenario. I can understand the gripes on the plastic components on such an expensive kit, but it's also the biggest and has the bed power to weight which gives it excellent handling.