With each passing season there is more to compare the current collection with. The first few seasons that made me a big fan of EG are of course my favorite and the latter years unfortunately have to compete with those. I think that they're trying to change things up, make tweaks here and there that will appease the new crowd but also keep the old interested. As such, there are fewer pieces each year that are must haves for me.
As for quality, I don't believe that falling buttons are a sign of bad quality. I've had to sew many a button, but i've never had any seams rip or any other parts fall apart. Considering that the buttons are the parts that get the most action, I'm not disappointed at all. I've got buttons coming loose on a Nigel Cabourn shirt I just picked up this last month (twice the price of EG, made in Japan), worn maybe 3 times at most. Can't expect much from buttons.
As for the buttons themselves, the workshirts and the miner shirts seem to be using the same fisheye buttons that have been used for years now. The 19th BD shirts use the MOP ones, which I believe they still use on the current 19th BDs (the price of which as gone up considerably).
Lastly, pricing for every brand seems to be going up. It's pretty much across the board and EG is still a bargain considering the features they've put in the clothing and that they're made in the US and in NYC. EG pricing seems to be on par with the other Made in the US brands (e.g. 8.15 August Fifteenth, Dickies, Steven Alan, Band of Outsiders, etc.). Gitman is running pretty cheap, but they do mostly one product, running the same patterns and simply changing the fabric, which makes it cheaper.
agree with pretty much everything you say, definately less "must haves" if you have been into the brand from the early days. But the pricing really has increased quickly, it wasn't that long ago that the winter field parka was £325 in the UK, now they are £550!!, and the workshirts i remember were £105 which are now over £160. Were talking big % increases.
On a more positive note, i'm really liking the tab collar shirt matched with the courdroy jacket, any idea what style the jacket is?