I’ve had very few problems with clones from China, but yes, the quality is not always there. I had one case where one row of headers was poorly soldered, so much so that they wobbled in the holes. I spotted it right away. It was no big deal to solder the headers properly, but some folks don’t have a good iron, and some don’t know which emd of the iron to pick up.
But for the most part, I order from China. Being a Canadian, I am subject to higher prices for anything I can buy here from electronic outlets to start with, and living near Regina, there are no eletcronic outlets that sell any of the stuff I want/need.
I can order from Canadian outlets in other cities, but the prices are higher than in the US, and of course I have to pay a lot for shipping. Same for ordering from the US… better prices, but higher shipping cost, and a 7-12 business-day delay.
From China, I choose dealers with a VERY high feedback rating, and go back to the ones that I have dealt with before. Prices are excellent, and most things are shipped free of charge. Shipping takes 10-30 days, and usually arrive in about 20-24 days, but for the price difference, I can deal with that.
I have had a few problems with delivery. Once I waited 35 days, then let the vendor know it hadn’t arrived. He shipped another one (it was 3 $2.00 items). Another time, I got the wrong thing. I told the vendor, and he shipped the right item.
If you want excellent quality, and want to support the folks who brought us this wonderful open source system, get the originals. They are still worth the money.