Power Tools: Best brand of home power tools?

If you are working at the cheap end of power tools there are a few brands to choose from. I have bought Ryobi stuff a few times, weedeaters have been good, also a good 1200 watt electric drill (a knockoff of a Bosch or Hitachi drill) with variable speed, hammer, 2 speeds, reverse etc. I used this some years ago to drill a lot of holes in desks to run cables through and it did a great job. 
Then there is Makita, I have owned a few Makita products but not anything that I bought myself. Orbital sanders, mains powered and cordless drills have been some of their products that I have had, some of which are still in use today.
Then there is Bosch. Their home stuff has been quite good, from a range of cordless drills, saws, heat guns and sanders.
The problem seems to be these days that all three of these brands, plus Black and Decker, have gone mad and are now producing cheap rubbish that only lasts a short time. Well, B&D stuff was always cheap and nasty but now there is a race to the bottom. Some examples:
  • Mouse sanders (triangular detail sanders for sanding into corners): Bosch have two models that are of very poor quality, the base plate is made of foam onto which the sanding pad is held with velcro, the pad being a soft material disintegrates and is then expensive to replace. A ludicrously poor design with also the dust collector box being either difficult to remove and empty, or falling off all the time. 
  • 1/4 sheet detail sander: Makita have done a very poor job with their BO4555/4556 models. Numerous reviews worldwide attest that the paper clamps on these will break off after only a few uses, whilst there have also been a number of people who have found the whole base plate has broken off completely.
  • Any sander that uses Velcro fastening: there are too many of these where the hooks and loops wear down quite quickly and will no longer hold the sanding sheet into place. This also includes the sanding pads that can be bought for multitools.

Seeing these situations for these brands of tools which have previously been fairly well regarded is a big deal for me. It seems these manufacturers are just producing throwaway junk with a life that can be measured in hours.

These situations are hard to understand because I have here an older Bosch random orbital sander that has a velcro pad for attaching sandpaper and not only is the pad made of good quality material (hard rubber) but also the velcro works very well and holds the sheets in place properly and they don’t fall off. Generally the older Bosch tools are well made and don’t break. The Makita detail sander I have is well made and has given a lot of use (except for the dust bag which has a flimsy internal support that broke). 
So I have to look at some other choices:
  • Metabo (which now has taken over Hitachi)
  • Bosch Professional
  • Hikoki ?
  • DeWalt
Metabo is the only one of these that doesn’t seem to be specifically geared at the professional trade (but I could be mistaken in that assumption). Their gear is going to cost twice as much as Bosch but about the same as Makita, yet it looks to be of better quality. They have a mouse sander that Mitre 10 carries in stock for about $175 that appears to be quite well made although reviews are hard to find.
Dewalt don’t have a mouse sander but they do have a 1/4 sheet sander and also a random orbital sander which price around $175-225 in NZ and appear to be well made. Bosch have some professional products which can be hard to find here.
Mostly what I see in reviews for certain home user Bosch and Makita products is people questioning why these manufacturers now turn out cheap junk when they used to produce good quality stuff. At least everyone already thought Black and Decker was low end but it seems Bosch and Makita are falling over themselves to emulate B&D and see who can produce the cheapest flimsiest tools that don’t last much longer than the ones you can buy from The Warehouse.
I don’t need to have any more sanding gear at the moment so this is an interesting discussion / conversation for future reference.