the T-34 was more potent than the Sherman but able to gun fight a Panther. It, like a Sherman, was cheap to mass produce. We EVENTUALLY, had Firefly, a Sherman with a useful gun.. and very late..Pershings. Our guys COULD kill a Panther or Tiger.. but we lose 4-8 Shermans to do that. NOT fun for the guys cooked in the killed Shermans.
The M4 Sherman has gotten a bad rep which imo is undeserved. For instance, take this engagement between Shermans and Panthers during the Battle of Arracourt (largest tank battle between Germany and USA iirc)..