I too speak for myself on this, but these budget models is what fuels the hobby.
It might be crap to some, but a start or an anticipated addition to others.
I might go against the grain on this, but I am a quantity collector. I appreciate quality as much as anyone here, but I am willing to buy anything that is/appears to be a reprecentation of a 1:1. The one thing that I am not tolerant of is off-scale like the 1/20 Bburago F-150 Lightning. It is still in my collection, but it would take you a while to find it.
Since I work in the 1:1 car world, I compare it to it. Would it be a wise decission for Toyota to make only LS430 and LX430 or GM to make only Hummers and Corvettes? No, they have to make Acho, Aveo...to get people in a car, create brand loyalty and move them up in their lineup. GMP is a perfect example of this.
Other know theirplace in the market and constantly try to improve their brand but do not go upscale. Kia and Hyundai in 1:1 and Maisto in 1/18 come to mind.
I think that as a we have grown up in the hobby, the wealth of knowledge that is shared in sites like DX has been a bleesing, but it can become a curse. The knowlegeable in the hobby are few, compared to the vast majority of the poeple that buy diecast. If the Diecast makers were to make cars just to please us here, they would go broke fast. Just looks at the Pub car. Tom-C-Toys was not able to sell out a 502 production run to a site that has a membership of 1000+.
The lowly Ertl that I happily bought in the early 90's have not diminished in my eyes just because Lane and GMP has made a better effort.
The one thing that I can say about Hot Wheels is that they do not sit and take shelf space like some other brands do at big box stores. They quickly dissapear. I did not realise this until I asked Darrick about what he thought of the white '05 Corvette. They were everywhere a week ago, and now they are all gone.
I see a not too far distant future in out hobby that there is going to be two or three consolidators that will buy the niche makers and offer several brands from budget to high-detail, like GM does from Chevy to Cadillac and Toyota from Scion to Lexus.
That is my :mine so take it for what it is worth. :lol