Being in the business myself, my answer is from the other side of the fence from the consumer.

There's a long tradition in Britain of people making hi-fi because they love it, not because there's a lot of money to be made. Many of the people making hi-fi here spend a very long time getting the best performance, possibly unwisely from a purely commercial point of view. I'm not saying that isn't case in all other countries, but I doubt that much of the extremely (and attractively) cheap stuff from China is designed and built by people who actually care - people who spent many, many hours in their youth listening to recorded music and fell in love with the technology and the pursuit of refining the art.

Dip in and out HERE

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