> I've read on Sheldon Brown's pages and other places
> that the SA's are widely admired for durability and easy
> maintenance. Are the AW's worthy of that reputation
> as their other models?? How are the SRF-3s fairing in
> the court of IGH owner opinion??
It's surely the AW (nicknamed the Always Works) that's the foundation of Sturmey's reputation in living memory. The company has produced a great many robust hubs in the last century+, but there have been a few clinkers, too (the SW3, StAr5 and original 8-speed design come to mind).
I'm pretty much a Sturmey fan, but for truly easy maintenance I'll take a SRAM (Sachs) hub any day.
S-RF3s are just the AW-NIG mechanism put into a beefy, high-polish aluminum hub shell. There have been a notable lack of complaints and a fair amount of praise for this hub.