I paid a visit to my local luthier today. While I was waiting for him to attend to me I overheard him talking to another customer. It went pretty much like this: "Even Gibsons and American Fenders are using cheap metal. I have to loosen the strings before I adjust the saddle so they (set screws) don't strip. Trussrods are all $***, they didn't break like this 20 years ago. Anyway these companies can save a buck, they're gonna do it." So how true is this? Are the days of buying an instrument that will last a lifetime over? I have no problem spending +$1,000 on a bass if it will last for 40 years, but I'm starting to think I should just buy a cheap bass every few years and save myself the heartache of a broken instrument.