I also live in central KY and am in the process of selecting replacement windows for my home. I started my search last fall, and got so frustrated with all the contradictory opinions and outright misrepresentations that I gave up for the time being. My wife insists that we replace our drafty 50 year old wood windows before this winter, so I have begun my research anew. The reason I'm responding to your question is because I had an interesting experience with Champion that you might want to keep in mind.
After calling Champion and unable to get some general questions answered by phone, I agreed to an in-home visit. A very personable and professional factory representative came and gave an hour-long presentation complete with sample windows, heat lamps and temperature sensors. After the presentation, he measured our windows and then prepared a quote. We have 14 windows, 3 of which are on the second floor. We decided to replace those on the second floor, and if we liked them after seeing how they performed over the winter, we would replace the first floor windows the following spring.
He started with a quote of around $3,000, but then with the 40% discount coupon, he offered the 3 windows for $1,850. After it was clear that we couldn't decide right away, he said he was authorized to drop another 5% off if we signed that day. That put us at $1,750. When we told him we really had to sleep on it, he told us we had 3 business days to opt out of the contract, and since this deal was only good for that day, we should go ahead an sign and then back out later if wanted to. Finally, when he saw we weren't going to sign, he made an additional offer to replace one of our storm doors. and guarantee 45% off on all future windows, if we signed that day. My stomach was growling for dinner and after reading the Buyers Right to Cancel on the contract, we went ahead and signed the deal.
A couple of days later, after talking it over with my wife, we agreed that we needed to do more research before proceeding with Champion. I'm an engineer by profession and tend to do a lot of research before making a purchase of this magnitude. The high pressure sales had gotten to us before we were really ready to commit. I went to the showroom, and told the receptionist that I was canceling the order. To make a long story short, they agreed to cancel it, but not without more pressure from the store owner, including an offer to drop the price to $1,580 plus the storm door.
The bottom line is that you may not have the rock bottom price that Champion is willing to offer. I've looked into Gilkey and been to their showroom, and am going to Window World soon. My impression of the three is that Champion is the best of the three, Gilkey next and then WW. However, I'm not convinced that the value of a Champion is more than 1-1/2 times that of WW. When you buy a Champion window you are also covering their pervasive overhead and advertising which I'm sure anyone living around here can attest to. Heck, they have a minor league baseball field in northern KY named after them. Someone has to pay for that.
I also have talked to a local contractor who buys and installs windows from a local manufacturer called Rogers Windows. They have a manufacturing facility and very modest showroom located between Lexington and Winchester. It looks like a middle of the road window. They will give you detailed price lists from which you select your desired features, and based on size, you can determine the exact window price. It's really geared toward contractors, so if you buy direct, you cut out the middle man. There is no haggling. The contractor said he can replace a window in less than an hour and charges about $30/hr. I can hear the objections already, but I've see his workmanship and feel I would get a good job. All in all, I can get replacement windows with this route for about $250 per. I know I take a risk not going with a larger manufacturer, and hiring a guy with a pick-up truck to install them, but it's one of the options I'm weighing.
Hope my ramblings help.