I guess R&D costs a lot and the forces involved in MTB'ing are probably quite varied.
I'm not sure I totally agree, when I was doing my engineering degree in the early 90s, some basic calculations made it obvious at the time that some stuff wasn't going to last very long.
I remember cranks being bent fairly often in the late 80s, so by the 90s I think it should have been sorted.
Really? That surprises me a little as I would have expected the theory to have been done at least. I guess the main concern was whether to anodise it in blue or purple.