And always, always...as with any mass produced object...there is the pressure to maximize profit, minimize costs. Go back to page one of this discussion...blocking out any awareness of the brand name or the price paid...does that look like top quality leather to anyone? Really? You are implying that the leather is not top quality. Can you say, with certainty, that "top quality leather" will always last 5+ years? I don't believe that you can. There are always variances beyond the manufacturers control.