The problem of continued jacket/fabric performance that many have mentioned here is, I think, basically one of visibility. Weight, features, cut, are all parameters that are visible when we purchase a garment, perhaps more or less understood, but able to be factored into our decisions. Fabric durability, and, to a lesser extent, construction durability are not. Nor is performance under extreme circumstance--it's one thing to keep out the rain, and maintain breath-ability, in a 1/2 hour shower, but quite another in a day-long rain. As soon as the external fabric wets out, breath-ability goes down the tubes.
And considering that an enormous amount of sold backpacking equipment spends most of its time in the closet, manufacturers don't have an enormous incentive to make their gear actually reliable in difficult environments. A great many jackets probably only come out of their closets for a run to the movies.
One way to change this--unlikely, I admit-- would be to have some kind of event like a NASCAR race, in which 10 walkers, each wearing a different manufacturer's garment, spent a day walking across some forsaken moor in a pelting downpour, the winner being the walker with the driest base layer at the end of 10 hours. Part of the route would be over scree, through brush, past artificial snow machines, uphill and down. Heck, you could probably even use a NASCAR track, with strategic artificial obstacles, and televise the thing.
Right now, simply being able to make a plausible claim is good enough. Consider Goretex, in its original forms--almost completely worthless as vapor transport in real world situations, but it had a good enough story to build an empire.