Once again ZedEx comes through in style and saved me a lot of typing =)
My profession is in manufacturing so I have spent a lot of time with both domestic and overseas production. The issue with Chinese stuff can be the quality of the raw material (China had bad steel for a while) but mostly it is with the quality control. Volume is king there so stuff gets let through that may not pass muster to you or I. That is simply their culture. I have had MANY components for businesses in the past made in China and had absolutely stellar results. Conversely I have also had stuff made in America that was crap. It really comes down to each individual shop.
My current levers are made in China from a machine shop that I have had over 8 years of business with and so I trust that they put out a quality product. I had *really* wanted my second generation levers to be made in the USA but every single quote that I have received would put them at about $400 per set....MY COST. I have no choice but to get them made overseas.
Anyway, I digress.
The point of this was that there can be good and bad stuff from anywhere on the planet. Be a smart consumer and do your diligence to ensure that you end up with something that is quality.
I'm not gonna make a global generalization and say that everything you buy from Asia is crappy, but my concern is in the co-opting of branding and what that means to the buyer.
If you go to a reputable distributor and buy a Brembo RCS, you have a good chance of getting what you think you paid for, that its been tested, that there are quality control measures in place in the factory, and so on. Both the distributor and the principal (in this case Brembo) have their reputations on the line for each item they sell, and that reputation for quality is why people will pay $400-500 for an RCS M/C and look down on a $48 item on Ebay. You'll also have a warranty that is likely to be fulfilled, and you have methods of communicating displeasure that are likely to be taken seriously.
The guy selling on Ebay has no reputation to save since he stole Brembo's to start with, so what does he care if your M/C fails at your braking point at 150mph? You have no way to hit his Yelp score, and if you blast him on ebay he'll probably change 1 letter in his email address and keep going while selling the same thing on Alibaba.
If you want to look at why people are concerned about quality in Taiwan/China/Asia, do some checking on building failures in many of those countries. It is epidemic that builders take huge shortcuts to save money using the wrong materials, dumping garbage down concrete pilings, etc... The latest was an apartment building collapse in Tainan - turns out the builder/contractor has done this numerous times before and simply changes his name and continues. Taiwan earthquake: Toppled high-rise built with tin cans - CNN.com
Cheap sand use threatens building integrity.... Poor-quality Chinese concrete could lead to skyscrapers collapsing | WIRED UK
But I digress....
I agree that in most cases you'll probably be OK, but if something goes wrong there's not much you can do about it, the copier changes name again and goes about his business unhindered, and each case becomes another data point for "Chinese quality sucks". Can it happen in "the west"? Sure it can, and it has happened, but the common practice of stealing brands and using them to sell knockoffs which is so prevalent in Asia I think really increases the risk of it occurring. Caveat emptor!!!