My mom bought an SRT-101 in 1970. I bought my father in law an X-700 in the early 80's for his retirement. My 14 year old son just bought a 370n and an XE-7, and his friend bought a near mint X-570 recently. The SRT is still going strong. The X-700 was recommended by friends at a photo shop I'd worked in previously, after they sold many hundreds over its first year or two of production and never saw a single one come back for repair. My father in law beat that camera like a nail and put many hundreds of rolls of film through it. It's worn down past the brass looking plating and well into the white plastic shell over 90% of its edges. He always had it swinging around with a heavy zoom on it and slammed it into things all the time. A few months ago I found drawings on the web, took off the bayonet mount, bent the lens mount spring back a little, and had a tight mount again in about 5 minutes. Still works great and has never seen service.

The 570 is an nice camera, better for shooting manually than the X-700. But my favorite Minolta is the XE-7, which is the Minolta incarnation of the Leica R3, my favorite SLR. There are some differences; metering system, mirror drive system, and other items, but they have much in common, and that was the best built Minolta series that I've seen. Neal's right on that score. They were building parts to be used in the R3, and so had to meet a higher than typical spec for Japanese cameras. My son's had it for several months, and still chuckles with pleasure when he fires it for the first time on an outing. I still do that with the R3 after 26 years.

I'm not familiar with the newer AF series of Minoltas, so can't comment, but they have made some very nice cameras over the years, and the optics have been good too. My son's 135 f:2.8 MC Rokkor (bought near mint, used, in the original case for $50 a few months ago) did an extremely nice job as a long macro with tubes on a week-long shoot of spring wildflowers. We were looking at Velvia 50 slides, and comparing it with a 100mm f:4 Macro-Elmar and an Olympus 90mm f:2 macro of early 80's vintage, so it held up in good company.

Lee