Very interesting, and obviously a controversial topic.
I'm always curious about this subject, and fascinated by it. It's clear that the stuff made a few decades ago in general were more robust...you can tell just by handling them and feeling the weight of the metal and wood, etc. And there's this argument that that kind of heft is way overkill. On the other hand, things will break more easily.
But then the other extreme is building stuff like phones that are actually planned to start breaking down after a set number of years. And that can be done with an OS upgrade, etc. Now that is a little more fishy.
An interesting personal example...
I grew up on the transformers toys. The big "nostalgia" about them were that they were made of die cast metal, and all of us grown kids now reminisce on that aspect, and how well made they were, etc. Now, in the past decade, with the new movies, a lot of these toys have been reissued or recreated and marketed to us grownups who were kids at the time (aka adult toys). They are not made of metal, but they are actually better toys than the original ones. They are more poseable, better looking, more accurate to the cartoons. but less metal. At first I thought I'd hate it, but I like them more! And most of the fanbase does as well. So it's an example of something about myself I would have never predicted. Before this, i was die hard about the metal. Will they last as long? Possibly, but not if they are dropped or something. i don't know. I find myself changing my mind a lot about this sort of thing now.