Wow, brand loyalty? For, not really: against, sometimes. I have fished a lot of great reals from some great companies, but some companies just seem to create junk as far as I can tell. The "good companies" all seem to have their junk product in the line.
Lews is one of them that fall into the junk companies for me. I cannot seem to get one with bearings that last more then a couple of seasons. Quantum to me is just Zebco on steroids, not something I would consider high end for sure. Still, some of the top end Quantum reels are probably worth a second look.
Shimano and Diawa have proven far more reliable for me, but even they have their cheep items. For them, spending a little more money does help, while with Zebco and Lews, spending money does not seem to help. As for Quantum, well let's just say the one bad apple I found in the barrel did spoil the whole bunch and I have not gone back again.
I sure wish that Quantum would have told me about a lifetime warranty when I called them for help. Somehow customer service must have missed that.
On the other hand, some other companies, lessor companies that have their products made by others (Bass Pro and Cabelas for example) seem to have some good rods and reels for lessor money. Perhaps not great, but worth the money.
I guess my first line does sum it up for me, a bad company is a bad company, but a good company still has some bad apples to sort through.