Paul Shinkawa , Nov 19, 2002; 05:38 p.m.
I have an early Automat Rolleiflex (the model just before flash sync was added) and a Rolleicord III. They both have Schneider Xenar 75mm/3.5 lenses and were made between 1952 and 1954. The 'Flex has a nice substantial feel to it and the handcrank is nice, but the 'Cord with it's fewer moving parts is the one that I feel more comfortable using. With an older camera, simpler means fewer things to fail.
If you get an older one, try to update the focusing screen either with a late Rollei upgrade or one of the aftermarket screens. They won't take sharp pictures if you can't focus them.