The Canon was not in the same league as the FE with its cloth shutter.Cost wise this is where the Nikon justified the higher price.

The AE-1 did introduce a lot of people to 35mm SLRs, the A-1 was praised with its multimode functions. I've owned and used both,sold both and kept my Nikons and Minoltas fwiw.I do have a Canon F-1 though...

The only problem I know of the plagues the A-1 and AE-1/AE-1 Program is the Canon "cough" with the mirror damper squealing. A simple lube job solves the problem but requires disassembling quite a bit to do the job correctly, the needle through the bottom plate works but can also "oil" the cloth shutter.No magnet issues that I know of.