But that's true of everything--handmade or machine made. Quality is not necessarily dependent on how something is made or labeled. That said, when choices are made...such as when a shoemaker chooses to inseam with long stitches per inch,or refuses to see that the stitches are not pulled tight ("seeing" or not seeing is also a choice)...when the choice is made that production costs are so paramount that high quality techniques and materials are eliminated or considered non-viable, it is nothing less than nonsense to even use the term "quality." It makes of mockery of the language and the process and even the intelligence of other people in the discussion. Political correctness aside, some choices are simply better than others. Better conceptually, better in results. Maybe the shoemakers you know...or maybe you're not really understanding what you're seeing and just think that it's cutting corners. Of course, but that's just a red herring. Ask yourself the real question...filthy lucre aside, would you rather have a well made hand welted shoe or a well made gemmed shoe? Seeing/highlighting the flaws in one maker's work, or in one example, doesn't elevate that which fundamentally cannot be elevated. Manufacturing by its very nature seeks the lowest production costs--the lowest common denominator so to speak...including time and materials. Gemming epitomizes that philosophy.