I'm deviating from the point I'm trying to make, so let's clean up this machine business and move on.
Based on what I've written so far, you might conclude that I'm not very high on machines.
Machines are popular because they are easy to use.
You don’t have to pay $$$ for coaches, which benefits not only you, but also the gym. Because then they don't have to hire qualified staff.
People can move in and out of the gym with speed, and when more people move in and out the gym makes more money.
Machines weren't made with your gains in mind. They were made with your money (in the pockets of the gym owner) in mind.
But I'm not 100% anti-machines.
There's always context. Just about any piece of equipment can be useful at some point in time.
If you injure your back, you might want a less global exercise so you can still train your legs without straining your back.
If you're a bodybuilder, you might want the lowered global response so you can better isolate a portion of a muscle.
I can loop around in circles for day with any given piece of equipment or particular training method, saying why it's good and why it's bad, but none of it means anything without the proper context.
And NO ONE qualifies context, which is why the Internet is a giant ball of confusion. Everyone throws around their training methods, but no one tells you why they do what they do.