I recommend FreeMotion single column cable machines for a lot of reasons. I have two and they are so versatile. The weight stacks are relatively light though (50 lbs., but the resistance depends on the angle etc.), you would need a FreeMotion Dual Stack machine for more serious weight (which is a heavy machine with a small foot print). The single columns have pop down wheels so you can easily move them around to use in almost limitless ways and the pulley at the handle attachment can be moved up and down in 10 or 12 positions (I can’t remember how many, not at the studio right now.). I got mine refurbished from the GymStore.com. Great price and they are like new. You do need to buy some handles and straps etc. as well to really make full use of the machines. That is true of about all cable machines though.
I think it depends. Obviously, the ones that come to mind right away are Life, Cybex, Matrix, Technogym and Precor. But I don’t necessarily think that one is “better” than another. It truly depends on your specific preferences.
Personally, I don’t really use many machines. I prefer to run and use free weights. But that’s just me.
In today’s market you can find unlimited types of machines that are promising great results. I’m not fan of machines and if I was going to train clients at my home, then I wouldn’t spent any money on machines. However, since you posted this question my answer is “it depends”. It depends on many factors such as space available, the type of clients you are targeting, your budget, your level of familiarity with any of the machines out there, etc. I would also check the type of warranty and the service support that comes with them, especially if these equipment are going to be for your house and not for commercial use (part of a big gym). Once you have figure out all these factors then choosing the right machines for your home should be easy.
Being in the medical field I like Cybex and Life Fitness. Body Masters has several good machines as well. Like other posts however, If space is limited than machines with multi-purpose function is without a doubt the way to go.
Hammer Strength has great equipment as well.
Total Joint Fitness LLC