I can't speak for the new Paragon 3 decoder, but I see some complaints. BLI has a number of those models in their refurbished pages if you go look. You'll be almost guaranteed a reworked and running locomotive for about 40% off the MSRP.
As for the model and its mechanism, it is top notch. I have the first, the Paragon, issued around 2003 or so. It's a heavy model, and pulls very well...surprisingly well. It is NOT articulated; the drivers are all mechanically mounted on the rigid frame. However, the centre two axles are 'blind', meaning the tires have no flanges. Accordingly, about 70% of the tractive effort falls to the two outside driver sets, and this artefact makes the BLI Duplex a beast on grades. If the P3 version has traction tires, it will be that much more capable.
I was able to run mine easily on 24" radius curves, but had no 22" curves on which to test BLI's claim for that minimum.
If you would like a sense of how long this locomotive is, here is a little gag I made up. The turntable has a 90' bridge:
Another view. Could have used some colour correction: