I have the discontinued large carry-on 242 which is similar to the small Pullman. I think this more like a traditional. suitcase - you put folded clothes in it, it keeps everything tidy and you don't plan to go in and out of the bag. I use this for car trips when visiting in-laws. I can pack more clothing in it than a small duffle or Sportsman and throw it in the trunk or back of the truck.
I don't like it nearly as much as an airline carry-on as the clamshell design is not optimum for quickly pulling items in or out. But I sometimes use it for air travel when I just want more capacity in my carry-on as I am not checking anything.
Have to agree on that you wouldn't want a clamshell design if you're going to rummage the content frequently.
I don't think many customers if any would expect Filson to take a bag back because they had buyer's remorse AFTER using the bag which isn't at all defective.
I also think the whole quality argument is overblown. I have some older Filson bags as well as some newer ones. I'd say the older ones look and feel sturdier, but I've not had issues with any of them. I think Filson still offers a quality product that is close if not the same in some respects to what they've always offered (in my experience).
Well, going by how CS work for AE and Filson. I do think their service reps are out to please and they are given certain level of leeway in retaining customer satisfaction (on non-second goods) based on past experiences with them.
As for the quality issues, it's something that remains to be seen say 5-10 years down the road. I'll just lurk around here with my "I told you so" retort till then (kidding...).