Pick any two: light, strong, cheap.1) Once again, I'd love to see a light-weight tom rail mount fixture with the simplicity of the old W&A rail mount and the set-and-forget ruggedness of the DW rail mount. Something made from aluminum rather than tractor-sized cast steel. And with a lug-replacement mounting fixture like the Ludwig Atlas mounts so that no drilling would be required. So the four paramount issues: light weight, drill-less attachment, reliable adjustability, and compact dimensions.
2) A version of the original Yamaha YESS mounts incorporating L-rod receivers instead of the Yamaha hex rod. (I absolutely love the original YESS mounts because of their simplicity, reliability, and function. When installed on a tom's Nodal Point, I'm convinced that the Yamaha mounts work just as well as all other isolation mounting systems. And their simplified appearance looks right. But we need a universal version that will accept the now-standard L-rod mounts.)
3) Is it economically feasible to design, construct, and sell heavy-duty but lightweight hardware? I don't think there is any doubt that it could be done, but can it be done for approximately the same price as regular hardware? (This is primarily concerned with stands, thrones and the like, but maybe we should add in drum lugs, hoops, and suspension mounts.)
I don't know. But how nice would it be to have heavy-duty hardware - something along the line of Yamaha's 600/700 series - that is made from aluminum or some other material? Yamaha's CrossTown series of hardware delivers on the lightweight requirement, but . . . well . . . it's just not attractive to most of us. In a sea of beautiful chrome, the matte aluminum finish of the CrossTown hardware stands as a stark contrast.
So, I'm back to my original question: can the terms chrome, lightweight, heavy-duty, and reasonably-priced live together in harmony? The last characteristic continues to elude us.
Somewhere in the middle is often a suitable solution. I really like Pearl's 150 series flat based cymbal stands. They're heavier than the Tama Classic & DW 6000 stands but lighter than double braced stuff, seemed fairly similar to the Ludwig Atlas flats. The Pearls are also more stable than the DW & Tama, similar to the Ludwig, not as rock solid like the double braced stuff. They were about the same price as the Tama and about maybe 2/3 of the cost of the DW & Ludwig but not as cheap as some double braced stuff available. Not 'best in class' for any category but pretty high across the board.