Von Dutch had a moment in the sun. I have some pretty good Von Dutch's from just before they really expanded, and they are a solid product. You can ask Get Smart if you don't believe me. There were actually a lot of LA makers, that did a very solid product early on, when $100+ denim was becoming extremely popular, and then sort of lost their way.
You have to remember that when this forum started (back in 2002), the denim scene, and the fashion scene in general, was very different. Seven for all Mankind had just started making men's jeans (well, that may have been 2001, I don't remember exactly), and the APC had just expanded its distribution. Previously, thei jeans and collection were only available through their website or their own brand stores, or at just one retailer in LA (now defunct). I actually only got into dry denim (though I just washed them whenever, and never really worried about ageing) when I moved to LA at the end of 1997.
Brands that seem rather stale now were still pretty new. John Varvatos, for example, was still putting out some exemplary leather goods, his first season having been FW2000.
Anyway, it is mid 2008, and the fashion cycle is coming around full circle. Respected designers like Jean Touitou of A.P.C. are advocation sizing up rather than down, Gregory Rogan's trouser jeans are suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly) becoming relevant again, and brands like SPURR are making bootcut jeans, after bootcuts fell out of favor with the fashionable for a few years.
BTW, I was right about Von Dutch becoming the next big thing. Shortly after that post, that brand blew up completely, then self destructed. I also got to True Religion before it became popular and a douchebag brand as well. I never did buy a pair though, so I don't have that trophy to show.