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There really is no hard fast answer to this one. Hornby/Bachmann/Heljan and ViTrains all have good and bad. In the case of the Bachmann 9f, the Hornby Merchant Navy and Rebuilt Battle of Britain Class will run on the most part silky smooth whereas the Britannia Class can run rough but by no means in all cases, however I have noticed this to be an issue particularly in the second generation of the new Brits.
Running qualities I find are less of an issue in Diesel and Electric Locomotives as there are no problems to be had with valve gear. Particular smooth runners I have found are the Hornby Class 31 from the premium range which is almost silent, the Bachmann Type AL5 and the Heljan/Hattons Class 28 Metrovick. I wait with anticipation to see how my pre-ordered Bachmann Midland Blue Pullman will run when it arrives from Hattons.

However back to your initial question. There really is no one manufacturers products run better than others. If you get a rough runner the only advice I can give is take/send it back to the retailer.
 
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