I recently had a "discussion" on a message board with a young man who was going to buy a questionable kettlebell... I wrote the following response to him:
"Look, I know there are a lot of people who think kettlebells are nothing more than a "cash grab" (to quote another at these boards), but there is a tremendous difference when you snatch a decent kettlebell vs. snatching a piece of crap. It is a balance/weight distribution issue and it is a craftmanship issue. If all you'll ever do are swings, then yeah it probably doesn't matter that much as long as it doesn't fall apart as you're swinging it, but if you ever plan on putting it above your head, or doing high-rep snatches or clean & jerks, then it definately does matter and you'll be very glad you invested a few extra $$ into a quality piece of equipment.
Have I tried brand X? No, I have not, but I don't need to. If someone asked me if they should buy a Costco barbell that came with a buttload of plates and collars vs. an Eleiko barbell of the same cost without the accoutrements, I'd say buy the Eleiko with NO HESITATION WHATSOEVER. I don't need to test out the other barbell to know that.
There's sh*t and there's shinola, people. Know the difference."