Tom, glad I put a smile on your face. Read a Captain Beefheart quote last night, "My smile is stuck, I can't go back to your frownland."
Interesting that cars were brought up in this discussion. While the car is the antithesis of our craft(at least I hope it is), the trends in its manufacturing are similar to gear. However, much slower to respond. Remember, Honda and Toyota brought cars, both economical in fuel and price, to compete against the hogs that Detroit was producing. Now that they have gained a stronghold, these 2 companies have increased prices and market big, overpriced, overgadgeted, vehicles to the American consumer. I saw a new Toyota SUV Saturday that was the size of a Suburban. Right now the Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki cars are bringing a lower price point, higher quality to the consumer who has tired of the prices Honda and Toyota are commanding. The debate over quality is a mere distraction. The bigger the company, the greater its inertia. A smaller, more agile competitor will soon emerge to give them fits. And so it goes.....