I love mine. It's the only camera I've ever extensively used with a winder and neither have ever given me a problem. The meter is good and the EL2 uses AI lenses (it was the first, new AI model, in fact.)
Can't say I've noticed the battery issue, though. I've had mine for 20+ years and if I've replaced the battery a half dozen times, I'd be surprised. The key is, don't leave it on. I turn mine off pretty much each time between shots unless I'm shooting more than a few frames a minute.
I need to pop the deck on my camera. The on-off switch doesn't seem to work, and that's probably contributing to the quick battery drain.