Columbia purchased Mountain Hardwear in 2003, almost 11 years ago. The also own Sorel and Montrail. This is not new information.
"I feel very fortunate that this all came to light before i contributed to yet another of these monstrous mega-companies."
This is an absurd statement. I don't work for Columbia and have never worked in that industry. I do, however, live near their HQ in Beaverton, OR and know several employees. I can't speak to any individual experience with customer service; sometimes customer service is just . . . not good, for any business. And being in Portland, I know a lot of individuals who work in outdoor apparel, including Nike, Adidas (North American HQ is here), Merrell (used to be here before moving to Michigan -- they are owned by Wolverine, by the way), etc. and it is a strange business with rapid turnover of clothing lines and a lot of waste (from an outsider's perspective). MHW clothing doesn't always fit me and if a Ghost Whisperer doesn't fit you or is the wrong gear choice or if you get screwed out of money from MHW or a retailer, then you should have some recourse. If you want to spend your money locally, you are free to do so. If there are no products you want that are produced locally, you can complain about that (I guess).
I, for one, am glad a large stable company is here. There are real employees who live here, send their kids to schools here, buy other products here, eat at restaurants here, etc. It's not Gert Boyle and an army of robots who make this stuff! By the way, you should look into Gert Boyle's story; she is a pretty amazing human being.
"I was hoping to do some fall trekking, but without a decent jacket im grounded."
This sounds dramatic. There are plenty of choices; I hope you find one.