YEP.... I bought one in January of 2001 and the day after I got it the encoder shaft locked up. HRO gave me a new radio and about three months later the TX driver crapped out right in the middle of a QSO. The radio came back from ICOM about a month later and has been fine ever since. I think the problem was fixed on the later models.
If you are looking for a first class radio the 746-PRO is about as good as they come. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
i'm sorry you don't have the experience or understanding to realize that others possess a skill set that you seem to dismiss as fantastical.