A year ago, my wife and I were very interested in the new Explorer; at a local auto show, I literally got on my back and crawled under the truck to check it out -- and for the most part I liked what I saw. My wife, meanwhile, had climbed into the driver's seat, and DID NOT like what she saw -- compared to our '93 XLT, this new XLT had dash and door panels that looked like they were made from recycled milk jugs spray-painted black. She then led me to another SUV that she had seen earlier -- the MDX. It was love at first sight for both of us, and it hasn't diminished a bit over its first 5600 miles (we picked it up on 7/2). I can't compare the MDX's ride with the new Explorer, but it's WAY better than the ride of any of the older Explorers.
Ford has been plagued with quality problems lately, too; I think Nick Scheele can bring them back to where they were once, but it will take a few years.
Given the choice, I'd take the MDX in a heartbeat!