Originally Posted by Andy2No
Cheesehead, Yes, that is going a bit far.
I think that part of the problem is that quite a lot of the cheap Hobbyking stuff really is kind of rubbish. The motor in question obviously has a huge markup (Hobbyking sells a nearly identical motor for $17, last I checked), but the drop in power with the 1s ESCs is significant across the board. The XP-3A appears to be using a motor driver IC not particularly suited for the application, and the remainder aren't much better.
The funny thing? I suspect the difference is maybe $2 in parts. DIY, anyone? :P
There's plenty of potential for improvement, though. The early "5g" brushless motors were markedly inferior to the Mighty Midget line, but the AP05 compares very well indeed. And the new generic ~2g digital servos are very nice.
Also, I think the designer switched to surplus Hitec servo gears for later designs, which cost quite a lot less.