This is probably the biggest Pro Audio Question ever! Great gear and/or a great sound guy? This is what I think. It is great to have incredible gear but if the sound guy is crap its game over! No doubt, there is a minimum standard a good guy needs to get a good sound for you act. And the gear needs to be appropriate for your act/venue. At Glenn Smith Event Production Hire we strive to find a balance between great gear and price but the sound guy will always get you there! I have seen Nexo gear sound crap and Behringer gear sound amazing and otherwise! It is great sound guys that make it happen. Gear that is really maintained will go a long way to make your event amazing!
My view on this is that if you can hand craft products there are some great advantages. I have 15 x Behringer 18 in sub woofer speakers and my main complaint is that while the speaker drivers are great the boxes are are not as well made as they could be. I have built some heavy duty boxes (but light wieght due to advanced desigh) based on thier design and the results have really been really pleasing. These boxes use loads of 45mm screws, proper slotted joints, 3mm aluminium silent grill and highest qualtiy glue and produce outstanding sound and endurance. No crappy staples used here!