I think the buyer has to do his research and that it works both ways. There are inexpensive items that are junk, and there are others that are a bargain. On the other hand with expensive brands, some things are top of the line and others are just a rip off in price for the brand name.
You don't always have to spend big money to have a good tool. HF is one of those places were if you do a little background checking on what you're buying or you have a realistic idea about what you're using a tool for you can make an informed decision about what you're buying and from where.
Quick example, when I put the floors down in my house I bought a couple of budget nailers from HF. They did the job just fine and if I ever need to replace any planks or decide to do the upstairs, I have them and they'll do the job. If I were a contractor and were going to put in thousands of square feet of flooring on a paid professional job, no, I probably woudln't have gotten my nailer from HF and I would have gone to a big name brand. But for my 1000 square feet of flooring it makes no sense to spend 4 times as much for a tool I'll likely use once or twice in my life. I guess my point is there is a place for non top end tools, too.