I will comment on the part that Gary is correct on. Every piece of aluminum that comes through here we order from the manufacturer they all have certifications. Chinese aluminum is what is called potmix or junk load. It has all kinds of whatever thrown into it and will vary in thickness and hardness through the sheet. That being said if the frontier box is all you can afford and works for you I guess thats what you use.
As far as the other vendors mentioned they are box assemblers not manufacturers. They all farm the cutting and forming out and then assemble the box for resale similar to a middle man but not as bad there is still some personal touch in it.
Since 1995 I have done .080, .090 and .100 the .100 is just pretty much overkill in most situations with the added weight ,.100 also makes it easier for people to weld thats why they go to it. I do use it on very large custom boxes or boxes that will have a large lid span. Bottom line thousands and thousands of .080 have gone out the door with 0 return or warranty issue. We do add a couple more steps than most and use a better quality hinge then all.
This year will be the big change in the Industry pricing we are going factory direct. I keep between 15 and 20 different sizes in stock all the time, more than any other shop or manufacturer/assemblers anywhere.
We do a 100 percent build here laser cut,form,weld assemble this will allow us to sell a 285.00 box in the most popular size ranges all USA made stainless hinge Tri Radial lid(our terminology) We use a superior gasket and welcome a under water pressure test against any other brand of box.
So if you want an import box by all means still get one but there is really no reason to anymore when you can get a USA made top of the line box. After all seems like price was the driving factor. Just our little part to better America
I should clarify there are others who build the unimproved shoe box style Dry box all from scratch, I am talking about the TriRadial lid style we make. As far as I know there is no one else in the Industry building those 100 percent in house, so it gets comical sometimes watching everyone throw names out and bicker without knowing where stuff really comes from.
Ob1 all those things mentioned really have no effect on our pricing of building something until you get down to like boat fabric then yes