Honestly... some of the repro gear is actually getting pretty good these days. I have had many real steel carriers and some repros, and the better repros are not that far off. I currently have a TMC CPC and it's actually a pretty solid piece. I currently have my level 4 ceramics in the TMC and it doesn't seem to be any more stressed than my AWS OCPC is. It distributes the weight amazingly, is super comfortable, and the stitching seems to be pretty dang solid. Now keep in mind i haven't really run it super hard but based on other gear I've owned it really does feel like good quality. That being said... not all repro gear is built the same, and there certainly is something to be said for the top tier stuff... but for what 99% of the guys on here use their gear for the higher quality repro stuff will last through whatever they throw at it for a fraction of the cost of real stuff. (Just for comparison, my TMC CPC kitted out... around $250...a bare crye CPC... around $700).