I live close enough I can report the Golds Gym has the typical reputation as a gym for guys who are serious into working out and no nonsense.
Gyms with more frills, classes, and cardio equipment in the area would be Ballys or Club Metro. I would personally avoid Club H which has gone bankrupt and is transforming into Base gym. It had a reputation for being run down and having broken or missing equipment. Since it is the free gym provided by my employer I still go and it lives right up to the sad reviews.
Thanks. My impression of Golds Gym matches what you said. The free weight area is large with lots of benches, workout stations, and tons of dumbbells. The cardio area in comparison is small. I like what I saw however I did not like the ghetto/industrial area it is located in, the lack of parking, and the fact that it is ~6 city miles away from me.
I snagged a one week guest-pass so I will be trying Gold's next week.