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Overall Quality!!!

The G2 is my first LG device. It's now at the top of my list for quality of both hardware and software. Between my wife and myself we have owned Android phones to include Moto, HTC (superior bootloader to all non-nexus devices), Samsung, Google (Nexus) and now LG. I can't really downplay any manufacturer but I have really enjoyed my experience with my most recent purchase in terms of skinned devices. I'm a fan of Nexus devices as well due to the user control that comes along with it. (no Sony for me due to being on vzw, but they look very appealing)
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Lol. Im im outside the US so dont have that problem with phones being exclusive to a carrier. I buy my phones unbranded/unlocked.
Im pretty convinced my next phone will be a Moto, probably the Moto G. They seem like good quality and value devices.
im on the sammy galaxy s3 just now and it has great internals, cant fault the inner hardware at all but i dont know if id call it good quality and for other reasons i wont be buying a samsung in the near future :)
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I like my Moto really its a good solid phone. I just wish there was a bit more development with it. To me that is one of the main things is what kind of community do we host for the device. When I was with Sprint I had the HTC EVO LTE and there was a strong community behind that. I thankfully haven't had any issues with my phones. With exception to battery life My Lg Lucid would be dead in 4 hours. Great phone sucky battery. The OG EVO was the same way. Even making the phone a hotspot the battery I have now last atleast 10 hours +
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I've had 3 HTC's, the Wildfire S, Desire HD and the The One X, build quality on each has been top notch.

The Nexus 4 was ok, it was nice to hold, but felt a little breakable.

I've an SGS3 Mini for work, I'm not overly impressed, but I can't really judge Samsung on one of their mid tier handsets.

My Z1 takes the cake though, the bezels are a bit beefy, but it looks and feels top quality. Having played a little with the original Z, I'm equally as impressed with that.
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My opinion is that HTC phones feel sturdier in your hand, but I base that solely on the plasticy designs of other mfg.'s ... Samsung to be specific. That said, it is entirely perception. I like my N4, including the glass back.

From a technical standpoint, I really can't say one (flagship phone ... the cheaper phones are, by definition, cheap) is better built than another. Screens crack, power buttons fail, connectors break. If you look at the forums, I think you'll find that there aren't any exceptions, including iPhones and Windows Phones.
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My opinion is that HTC phones feel sturdier in your hand, but I base that solely on the plasticy designs of other mfg.'s ... Samsung to be specific.

You've been brainwashed by the tech press. Plastic is a superior material in many respects. If you ever took the back off of an S4 you'd realize why plastic was used instead of metal. Not to mention the most superior airplanes, golf clubs, tennis rackets, bicycles, etc. are not made of metal.

I would agree with your comment about how all phones have some problems. When you look at the quantity in which they are produced it would be incredible if they didn't.
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The feel of a device due to the outside materials is going to make a difference due to personal preference. Some people like the feel of a metal case or anything non-plastic and heavy. Others like a phone that is light.

Whatever the initial feel of the device, I find that over time, I don't notice it anymore. I use to use an HTC Desire Z which is very heavy partly due to the material and partly due to the fact that it has a physical keyboard. It was noticeably heavy when I first started using it, but I got used to it after a while. Then I went to a Samsung Galaxy S3 which is super light in comparison. After a while, I don't notice the lightness of it anymore.

I do think that the outside material and feel is a factor in some people's buying decisions regardless of whether or not it affects the user in the long term. Most people don't know a lot about phones and probably outside of the brand and feel of the device, the different devices may not seem that much different from each other.
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1. Samsung (most popular, reliable and most feature rich devces)
2. LG (even though some models look like Galaxy S4 copies, including the interface.)
3. Asus (great tablets, google devices included)
4. HTC (some unique features and metal case which reviewers love)
5. Sony (ugle chunky looking devices, poor displays, bad Cameras)
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cases lol. Id always use a case on a high end phone so the build material doesnt really matter.
I have an Urban Armor Gear case on my s3 and although its slim, its VERY stiff so it feels like a different phone.
Id hate to put a case on a sony phone though because theyre beautiful looking gadgets. Samsungs, to me, are ugly. I think the shape of them makes them look low quality
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