Re: Thrifty vs. Cheap!
I totally agree with your thought on this subject. Too many folks will risk their safety and sense of true value by going for the most inexpensive build components and pay double later to right bad initial decisions.
That said, sometimes a good deal happens and you get something worthy for vey little costs. Sometimes.
To me, the motorized bicycle costs are low because of the very things that we complain about; cheap components of low quality (China made); inferior safety issues, i.e., rag joints, non-sealed hubs, single walled wheels, etc. To build with quality & safety in mind costs are going to be a factor; you will get what you pay for.