I have been involved with this product at KitchenAid for the last 3 years. I work with several individuals left over from the original Hobart days. I can very honestly tell you that there has not been a "philosophy" of cheapening the product by Whirlpool Corporation that was any different than when Hobart owned the brand. What I CAN tell you is that our newer 6 quart mixers (launched 4-5 years ago) have gone through growing pains, much like the original classic mixer did from 1937 through 1946. THAT model underwent FOUR model iterations in just 9 years. So yes, there have been a few issues, but we have been continuously improving our model over the past 4 years. These improvements include an upgrade to a resettable thermal motor protection, spiral dough hook, and hobbed worm gear (instead of rolled). I also believe we are fighting a "legendary" image that may have grown to mythic proportions. We will continue to beef up this mixer early next year when we begin manufacturing our Pro 600 with an ALL-METAL gear case cover. Less than 0.5% of our customers ever have a problem with the gear case durability, but for those that do, this cover will GREATLY increase the durability under heavy loads, both in the bowl and through the attachment hub.