Whilst I have little sympathy with companies selling really poor quality stuff, I have to say that if you look closely at many posts on here you see a lot of "Where can I buy the cheapest xxxxxx" rather than where can I get the best quality, irrespective of price (up to a point).
The result is that the low volume parts for classic cars, and not just Minis, are made 'down to a price' at which they will sell best.
If the volumes were huge, the quality for the same price would be much better, but classic car parts are by their nature low volume.
How many would pay, perhaps, 2 to 3 times the current prices for top quality parts. Not many I would guess. Look how many buy pattern body panels then come on here and say that they don't fit very well. So why didn't they buy the genuine Heritage ones? Simple, they are twice the price - but they fit! The same applies to engine parts and suspension stuff. I use Karl Schmidt pistons for my Cooper 'S'. They are about £500 for a set, but they are superb.
The problem is the small volumes and the low prices expected by the owners. Those two factors are not compatible.
Nicely worded and very true, A little off topic but have you ever used the omega pistons from MED, I use these in the racer with no issues so far !!!
I have used Omegas a couple of times. Once in a 970 'S' rally car which was using over 7500 rpm and another time in a turbo-charged 1330 engine where the deep dish and strong design was ideal. Top quality, but not cheap, which is what you would expect.
We are fortunate that we can still get new pattern parts for our little classic cars. If you try to buy parts for, say, a 1965 Ford Anglia it is difficult. Now try to get bits for a 1961 Ford Zephyr or a 1963 Sunbeam Rapier. They may be available, at a price, but the quality can leave a lot to be desired.
The problem is if you tool-up for and make top quality parts for low volume applications the cost per unit is huge and will make the part too expensive when compared to lower quality but lower cost items. Then we al know which will sell and the manufacturer offering top quality will be left with no way of getting his development/manufacturing costs back.
I recall chatting with Keith Dodd (boss of Mini Spares and a really nice guy & true enthusiast) some while back. We were discussing how he can quality control parts from his suppliers. Now he will issue a specification which matches or exceeds OE specs, but how can he check that the product supplied is correct to design in every case? Without expensive laboratory testing facilities he simply can't. Now Mini Spares is one of the most reputable companies and very successful. However, even they will struggle to check, say, the materials used, the dimensional accuracy, the hardening and correct assembly of every oil pump they supply. I have the greatest respect for what Keith has put back into producing the best Mini parts for a sensible price, but they are up against many smaller companies with whom they must compete to be, for many owners, the 'cheapest'.
It is a difficult situation for we, the end user, and for the reputable suppliers who face making losses if they have top quality parts made for them and then price them to make a sensible profit only to find that those good parts simply sit on the shelves whilst the 'cheap cr*p' flies off the shelves.
When I first retired I built some classic car engines. But I got fed up with being asked how cheaply I could do it. I would quote for a proper build to a given specification, with several build and trial build stages, only to be told that 'XXX Engines will do it for 3/4 of that price. Will XYZ Engines do two trial builds, check and measure everything, set the CR accurately, time in the cam to +/- 0.5 degrees from nominal, etc, etc? Of course they won't, but 'Jack the Lad' will go for the cheapest, then complain that his engine didn't last long, or burnt oil, or lacked power, etc.
Yes, there are some 'flaky' suppliers out there and I can name well-known one with whom I will never deal again, but ask around on here, pay a decent and sensible price and good quality stuff is usually available. However, if price is the only criteria then you will be disappointed.