I'm afraid the same change of "style" happened here in Europe... rivets or even glue instead of screws, soft plastic replacing leather, hard plastic replacing metal, decals instead of screen printing or engraving. Ok, a contemporary device may do the same thing (or more), but in many times it's like comparing a leather-bound book to a flimsy paperback, or a steak to a canned meal. Maybe it's a thing about the civilization level, or about beating down the price... at all costs.
A teacher of mine stated about 20 years ago (it's difficult to translate that from german, but I hope you catch the drift): "junk breaks, but well made things have the capability of graceful degradation." I'm getting old - by now I think he was right.