I 100% agree - tech gear ain't what it used to be !!!
The bad caps caught me by surprise and with much dismay because it brought alot of wasted time and angry people with it; worse still was when I rebuilt all the PCs in the office using Antec PSUs and very quickly, one by one, they ALL krapped out - forcing me to do the unspeakable and get temporary cheapies from Geeks and to ship about 100 pounds of PSUs to CA.
But wait, it gets WORSE - when the warranty replacements came back they were ALL of the wonderful 'Earthwatts' line - some of which were DOA and all those that did work (but 1) failed in short order...AAAAAAAARGH !!!
Back in went the cheapies - more shipping - and so forth.
(These were ALL done on the original MFG warranty - no extended thingies involved.)
I consider my POV regarding tech gear vs. adding warranties to be honestly acquired and well justified, all things considered.
And to add to your point above:
I now expect PCs in daily use to now last 1 1/2 to 2 years MAX. and I take action accordingly just to avoid downtime and angry people.
Handhelds cannot possibly be made of sturdier stuff than desktop PCs IMO.