I'm pretty sure the answer is the Giant is a better bike. The story is that I have a Huffy Manitoba that I bought brand new in 1992 or so for around 180 dollars. I have never used it until my older son started using it around 3 years ago. It passed down to the other son when the first son went and bought a new Diamondback. My other son Willy who is using my Huffy is heavy, around 290 pounds or so.
We recently had to do a crapload of work to the Huffy due to total neglect of maintenance by me. The rear axle snapped on him and when I replaced the wheel, I discovered a ton other broken issues. We replaced the front drive crank and sprockets, the old ones were all bent up. Replaced all the cables. Replaced one of the friction indexing SIS shifters. Got the bike back into good working order. But its still a Huffy. I can tell a huge difference between the Huffy and my Specialized.
So fast forward to today. I was in my back shed next to my garage cleaning it out for the first time in years since I really moved to this house. I found a Giant Butte back in there. Medium frame so it would fit my son or I well. It is complete but needs major cleaning and the cables all need to be replaced. It has Shimano GS200 series components on it. The only real problem I see is that it looks like the front chainrings are out of round. When I spin the pedel, I can see the edge of the chainring wobbling.
Should I let my son ride the Giant or the Huffy? The things going for the huffy are well, its all there and is in riding condition and has a carbon steel frame (strong, heavy). The Giant has a chrome moly steel frame (unsure if its as strong but a tad lighter).