Originally Posted by Gypsyheart
I understand that you get what you pay for
Good, because that is the golden rule in regards to pretty much everything with drums.
I've come to prefer boom stands, you may not need them in every situation but they are far more flexible than straight stands of course, and the ability to angle the cymbals exactly as prefered is important to me. For some reason I prefer the 8mm tops over 6mm, may be because the all the good quality stands I've had, (and still use) have the 8mm ones.
I've never thought about brands really, I bought my stands long ago, but I have two from Tama which are really nice, and have the 8mm tops, and two Sonor 400 series which have nice and sturdy base parts, but the boom part is a bit light and also have the 6mm top.
I can definitely recommend Tama HC73BWN, they don't cost a fortune and mine doesn't show any signs of wearing out.