(Just to butt in rudely! ;D) I see machines as having their place for sure. I think people taking hard lines of one OR the other is a bit extreme. Free weights are great as stabilising muscles get more work, and people love bandying around the 'real-world functional' argument (gets a bit overused and used in the wrong contexts), but you can still get a great deal of targeted work with machines. Even solely for maintaining and gaining strength, machines still have their place. Especially if injuries are prevalent, machines can help work around that. Still downsides to machines, as it forces you to use only the arc of movement that the movement provides, and doesn't always take into account individual body differences. But really depends on your purpose for training. As heavy as you can manage, free weights have great benefits for the reasons you listed for sure.