As two engineers, we can probably have a good discussion around this. The first thing we were taught in statistical quality control class was the technical definition of "quality." Quality = conformance to an established specification. That specification may demand extremely high level materials and ultra precision manufacturing. It can also require just about anything else. I haven't purchased lumbar for years, but that is certainly an area where what was required by specification likely varied a lot. That ugly piece of lumber I bought for just a few bucks was technically a quality item if it was 8' long and strong enough for the framing application intended. That said, I'm guessing that if IM upped the material and manufacturing spec requirements for their frames, they either wouldn't find anybody to produce them or they might increase in price by 50%. IM has a different business model than Kato. They have produced a much broader variety of prototypes, included higher levels of detail and provided a much larger selection of road names/numbers. So they may not have a choice but to stick with what they've done and wind up with long term owners who aren't happy. It's like when I used to buy GM cars. They would fix anything under warranty, but warranties run out and equipment that wasn't designed/spec'd for long term reliability often fails. Now I buy Toyotas. It may be that IM is GM and Kato is Toyota. That said I enjoyed a lot of new GM vehicles back in the day. But, as I said in my previous post, things sometimes change.