It strikes me that one reason some tools in the US are going South (or East, as it were) are that that bean counters don't really take into account when buying a tool like a hammer is efficiency and pride of craftsmanship. Some tools are way more efficient than other. An electropolished Armstrong or S&K Superchrome wrench is nicer to use, and I am less likely to slip and screw up or hurt myself with that superior tool than I would be with a Craftsman. I am more efficient.
The pride of craftsmanship thing is another factor. I'd be embarrassed to to a poor job while using a hammer that pretty!
The bean counter just says "its a hammer, and I'm going low bid".
Of course, there's the real reason we like nice tools: addiction. Finding a great buy on a set of tools at a garage sale or on eBay makes us sound like Cheech and Chong:
"Hey man, check out the tools I scored".
"Wow, man. Far out! Is that a real Armaloy set?"
"Yeah, man. It' s the good stuff. From back in the 70's, man."
"Wow man. So, like, you gonna keep all this stuff, or are you selling some of your stash?"
The hammers are very nicely done.
And so forth.