I've had Suunto Ambit3 Run (yes, it is there cheapest model) for ~ 3 years. The watch strap has broken twice, the first time within warranty (which is 1 year), and second time out of warranty (by 1.5 years). Both times Suunto replaced the watch strap for free (even though they warranty was up the second time).
I should mention by "broke" - the buckle pulled off of the pin and I lost the pin before realizing it. The first time the watch got caught on a backpack shoulder strap while removing the backpack, the second time I was in a (self inflicted) bike accident. Both times I asked for just a replacement pin, but they sent a whole strap.
My wife has had the same watch for 2 years, and had no problems with her strap.
As for downloading the files from suunto, Yes you need moveslink installed, and once you plug in it automatically uploads to movescount.com
. From there you can download the file and then upload it here. Alternatively you can sync the watch with your phone via bluetooth, ,which will also put the files on movescount.com
Alternatively, you can find the folder where the .SML files are stored, its just a little tricky. On a windows they are found here:
and on a Mac they are found here:
In both cases the first folder listed is "hidden" under normal circumstances, so you need to unhide it. You'll get a warning about tampering with files in here, but as long as you don't delete anything you're fine. I just made a shortcut on my desktop to the last folder listed.
If you sync through bluetooth, the next time you plug your watch in the (already synced) .sml files WILL NOT be added to the folder, only new files will be.
The 1 downside to this system is if you are without a computer (such as traveling) you cannot get files from your watch to your AP [To my knowledge] (at least if you are an iphone user . I cant speak to android phones but I believe they use a different file storage system). You can sync via bluetooth, but you can't download the .sml from the website and upload it here, whereas with the garmin connect AP sync feature you can accomplish that on a phone.
Hope that helps with your decision. I love my suunto, after fighting with a few different garmins over the years (yes they were all old models compared to what's out there now)