That said there are lot's of types of people and we sell our products in a price range that fits any budget.
As to durability, the word is still out on PVC vs. Hypalon but I can personally tell you that we haven't had a single warranty claim in over 3 years (except for a few valve replacements due to a damaged gasket during shipping). I run our rafts on all of the water in the area including the Payette, Salmon, Snake, Grande Ronde, Boise and Bruneau. I haven't repaired an air chamber yet and have probably slammed around on some of the boniest water you can find. I will say that I only have 5 years experience using our rafts personally but our manufacturer has been producing these rafts for well over a decade and each year they continue to improve. Unlike some of you guys I can't speak for these rafts in the 10-20 year range but I can say that every time I get a call from a customer they are nothing but ecstatic about their experiences with our rafts.
Anyway, believe me when I say that I'm not saying our rafts are BETTER than the AVON, Maravias, Hyside, AIRE, etc... but we are 100% in the same playing field.
As to the question about glued PVC vs. welded, you make a very good point that welded "appears" to be a definite advantage. That said, welded PVC is a newer technology that also has not yet stood the test of time. PVC welded products (like natural gas lines) seem to be stronger and hold up better but again that is just what the initial test tell us. To say that PVC glued products aren't similar to welded is just plain wrong. How many of you have heard of PVC glued rafts having issues in recent years? I haven't heard of any and all the stories are from a bad run in the mid 90's or earlier. Anyway, I'm not trying to change opinions just giving my own.
I really do appreciate the feedback positive or negative. The valve fix with the wire and crimps is a great idea. We'll see if we can get the manufacturer to test that out for us.
Good luck to all this summer! We lost 4 last year in the Boise area so let's all hope for smooth trips and skillfull guides/passengers.