The reality is that you get what you pay for and if you're buying something that looks really flash for very little, they've saved elsewhere. Nowt wrong with a decent Epiphone in my opinion and it should hold some of it's value too.
Or a mim fender or a squier or whatever kind of brand. If it was (easily) possible to build guitars that cheap everybody would do it. If only to keep up with the competition. People who tell others to buy a $200 squier and upgrade the pickups "so it'll be as good as an amsta strat" really grind my gears.
And those boring brands are boring for a reason. When I was a teen I was heavily in the computer stuff. I bought a great soundcard. Better then anything else on the market. With a matching pricetag. To find out it was barely supported and ran in compatibility mode most of the time. So I would've been better of with the leading brand at that time. It's leading for a reason.
*not to say other brands are bad. But I'd only buy them after trying and holding them in my hand.