Nice write up mate....Every watch with a gen ETA goes first, rep second in terms of quality....but for me the point of collecting watches (reps and gen) is the chase of a watch, modifying it when possible, selling and buying another ect. I know...I am a watchaholic but can't help it.
I have collected watches for about 25 years, reps came along in the early 20th century...I must say I have been very lucky buying reps...started out with some phantasy pieces form Reg/Narika, then I got hooked by the watches of TTK/Neal, a totally 'intersting' experience dealing with Neal, then Paul, Silix with his crazy sales and Andrew/Trusty. 90% kept on running. I bought some very nice reps M2M and after visiting some GTG's, some from Deltick, a collector and great guy from the States which, allthough running on A23 mvts, were great watches...still have two now running as new after 13 years. One is my Pam 005 which will not be sold...:)
That was the time of watches hidden in plastic toys, even got one in a chinese shaver form Andrew ....great times...and no QCpics whatsoever...lol
Today most I buy M2M or from Andrew or Sead. Sadly I got scammed twice on RWI recently, I have lost a few k all over the years but it seems scammers are free to do whatever they want over there even a mod is defending the scambug so still waiting for a refund and then I am out of there.. But in general, 95% of my reps were good buys from trusted members on RWG and RG.
I almost never had the quality experiences you had with crowns falling off or bezels....I love tinkering with watches, repairing and modding whenever possible....luckily I have a good friend who works for a major watch and jewelry chain in germany and he helps me out when i am stuck, my collection now is about 65 reps and 10 gens, all in good condion and I notice that it get's harder for me to sell a good piece...sold my Pam 000 old skool last year and still regret ....:)