Sorry I will never agree with premise that the cost of something correlates to durability or quality as a product. Surely a full blown failure on night 1 with a new product is unacceptable. I only suggest one test their gear as best they can prior to a trip where the failure of it could be disastrous. Thus it is in one's interest to test an item in real-usage conditions as best as possible in time frame/setting with lower consequences and have a backup (foam pad?) in case of failure. per your example, if you are on a 10 day trip and have managed to find a location 200 miles from civilization (other than alaska or NWT let me know where..) the onus is on you for due diligence of your gear, and a backyard test is probably a low bar to test one's system.
BD debuted stainless steel crampons recently and there has been some serious hubub about the front point failure. If I was planning a greater range expedition or a seriously challenging route in my backyard, I'd be really hesitant to use them. If I was going up the south side of Mt. Hood as a usual thing for me, I'd be fine to use them.
As for the first year car analogy, I ended up with a first year dodge neon (no direct choice of my own) and let me tell you, many, many times was I left stranded, and many times requiring repairs that took longer than a day to complete. No it didnt die the first day off the lot but it didn't have longevity or reliability either. The mechanic I had generally didn't speak well of the car and indicated I wasn't alone in my problems. This was something that cost many thousands of dollars, not hundred or two hundred dollar piece of plastic intended for camping.
At the end of the day if you see thermarest/CD behaving in that they use full-paying customers as fullon beta testers, they have every right to do this with or without their warranty as you have ever choice in the world to spend the money or not on the newest model that comes out. Which is more likely, that they do really crappy QC and totally let the end users beta test and work from that, or that they try to get to some level of success (70, 80, 90, 95%?) and then move from then? Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good. The later sounds much more plausible.
i guess thats all i have to say. to complain about what a company does when the company is generally speaking positive and attempting to push the envelope for light weight/performance, especially with the wonderful warranty they have, doesn't seem like they are hanging someone out to dry.
apologies for the thread drift. I'll keep an eye on my xlite this spring/summer and see if I notice any durability issues.