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Regarding you question about 5-pole motors this article on z-scale asks some good questions:
"Do you need a 5-pole motor?" & "How to tell which motor you have?"

http://www.zscale.org/articles/fivepole.html#tell

With regard to steam locos most new Hornby are 5-pole whereas most Bachmann I believe are 3. That said no one seems to be complaining about the 3-poles so other factors must come into play.
 
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