Wow. I think robbie's analogy to APC is a good one. People have a set price in mind when it comes to "worth" with denim: $150 will get you something basic, $250 will get you something nice, $350 will get you something unique. People don't question the profit margins at $150 the way they would at $250 and up, which is ironic given that just months or years ago they were probably wondering what idiot could possibly think that $150 got him anything more than $30 Levi's STF. As a shopper, it's inevitable that one would place items side-by-side in order to compare their worth but with clothing the process can definitely be much more subjective than black-and-white. The problem is the internet, or specifically forums like this, that gives anyone the means to nuts-and-bolts a pair of jeans by comparing it to other jeans, including those that use the same mill, that are very upfront with their use of specific materials and specific construction processes in order to distinguish themselves. I understand why people like whatever are inclined to dissect and doubt. For example, off the top of my head, I can think of about 10+ brands that also make jeans using Cone, a mill that definitely isn't considered as flashy as its Japanese counterparts with jeans that retail for more. However, there's a lot more to the picture that ultimately will be more important to the buyer, such as fit, finish, attention to detail, and a story, than simply good fabric. Typically, when people sit at a restaurant for a meal they pay for the finished product more than the grocery list of ingredients. Let the buyer figure out his appetite.