There is an old saying, once bitten, twice shy. In my case I've owned two new Airstreams. Both were fairly dismal in overall quality, though I will say that the 2004 was far better than the 2003, I suppose that isn't saying all that much since the 2003 was a three alarm train wreck.
Fact is, and I'm fairly sure I'm not alone here (maybe I am). When one pays 2 to 3 times what the average RV costs, you kind of expect a certain level of quality. Even though the RV industry as a whole has put out junk for decades, that still doesn't excuse sloppy workmanship and lately the factory sort of walking away from problems it clearly knows are of no fault of the customer (ie: corrosion), particularly at these prices. My 04 retailed for $39k. Same trailer 4 years or 5 model years later is well over $46k and with price increases in nearly everything, this will clearly only go up.
In the end, the RV industry, and Airstream will survive as will the economy and the real estate market. What won't recover is the perception that folks like us that have paid top dollar for these units are basically only slightly better off in terms of QC that the RVs costing 2 to 3x less. Those who have had warranty claims refused, I can bet you won't soon forget your exp.
As for me, the factory treated me during the warranty period as good or better than I could have hoped. The day the warranty ended, it's like my Safari turned back in to a pumpkin and mind you, that is something I won't forget either.
What is the whole purpose of this novel you ask? Thor and more specifically, Airstream had better get their act together for several reasons.
First, fuel prices are most likely NEVER going to go below $2/gallon. We'd be lucky for $3.
Second, with high fuel costs, most will be more selective on what they buy.
Third, if you have the cool factor trailer, and there are handfuls of folks showing nearly 3-5 folks who stop and look at your Airstream at every campground you go to (and those of us that own these know how many folks at like moths to the flame) and talk with owners like me, and/or read forums like this, it's going to have an impact. I tell you this, if I had been in the market and I talked to a number of folks at RV parks who owned these and read what I've seen here on this forum alone, I would clearly have a moment of pause before diving into a new unit....used one, maybe I'd be careful there too, but new, not a chance...not given my ownership exp with two brand new units.