Mitch: You are completely missing the boat on this and you'll get screwed as a result. Trane, American Standard and Rheem are all reputable in their own right. ALL of them have had ups and downs. And I'll guaran-damn-tee you that the majority of the difference with any sort of Consumer Reports results has to do with the dealers that put them in, not the equipment.
The REAL question is which contractor will do the best job. The founder of the forum wrote this. Read it. There's also a wall of shame. Go look at it. Look long enough and you'll find botched installs of every brand. Focus on brand and price and you'll absolutely not get the best installation.
Find the contractor with a passion for making kick ass systems. Put whatever brand he sells in and pay him whatever price he asks. And the only way I know for you to be able to figure that out is to get educated on what comprises a good system. Given your price and brand focus, it's obvious to me that you haven't done that. And as a result I bet that all the contractors sound the nearly the same too you. Learn the HVAC language a little better and they'll start to sound different.
Frame...for what it is worth I had actually seen that report. I have seen many reports. The more info I got the foggier things seemed to get. I have tried to do some serious research, but as a homeowner and without training in this field it is difficult to sort through the facts. I do appreciate the opinions that all have shared.
if you think that the price differential is a big issue, don't hesitate to have another Trane dealer (preferably a Trane Comfort Specialist) come out and give you an estimate. Do the same with the Rheem if you feel you should. As was said earlier, choose the dealer who you think will do the best job for you and your family and you shouldn't go wrong.