I agree with you that a turbo costing 2x as much with a ball bearing center section, billet whels, etc will be (and damn well should be) better. But trying to compare a $2500 turbo to a $1200 turbo is kinda silly. A $2500 turbo better have more area under the graph. Saying that these are cheap-ass turbos is, IMHO, ignorance. They have not shown to have any longevity problems, and power is power.
Just cause people don't run out and buy the most expensive thing they can doesn't mean they aren't thinking for themselves (actually, it could be said that the 'if it's expensive it must be good' mentality is the definition of not thinking for yourself)...case in point, this turbo didn't even exist in a Subaru variant before my car...it was made for my specific application...it worked so well, they decided to offer it as a standard turbo in their lineup. I havn't been beaten by anyone yet simply because their turbo cost more than mine and there isn't anything wrong with building a powerful, competition proven car on a budget.
I don't think an inexpensive turbo that does what it claims to do is hype. That's my point.