I agree, my kid has had some good luck with the knock-off cheap-o's out of China.
The rankings are like this -
The Bower Vampoor - Good flex, breaks near the hozzle a few carbon splinters but overall pretty good. Derk Dangler special. ****
The Readbook S2 - Ordered a 67 flex and got what seems to be a 20 flex ramen noodle stick, first shot went over the glass but he's since dialed it in - bar down twig if there ever was one. Sniper rifle. ***
The Wearier Convert - Last stick we ordered came with no discernible curve so he can play left or right handed, good graphics of Mao Tse-tung up the shaft, came extra sticky grip. **
The CMM Sunburner - Didn't order it due to the all red graphics and the reputation for shattering all over the ice. Would recommend wearing a full window with this one as the shrapnel can get into your eyes. No stars.