I was pleasantly surprised to find that this shelf really is as sturdy as they say. It reminds me of the solid furniture my aunt used to have in the childcare center she ran. This is not the typical cheap composite material you can buy at Target for way less money; this is a shelf that will stand the test of time. The back panel is actual wood, at least twice as thick as the cardboard crap you get with usual furniture, and it slides into grooves on all the shelf pieces rather than being tacked in with tiny nails. The hardware is also very thick, sturdy stuff. And I was also pleased to get casters with it - bonus! Now I know why I paid $140, and I'm not the least bit sorry. Totally worth the investment.