There is perhaps some truth in what you say, but you pick a bad example to illustrate it. New Marins are eye wateringly expensive when compared spec for spec with its rivals, and not one of their current range can be described as exceptional, never mind class leading. These days they're pretty mundae, trading off the name.
Yeah that's a shame, I used to love them vs. Kona, and remember lusting after a Bear Valley SE when I should've really spent more time lusting after girls and boobies rather than blue anodised cylindrical cantis.
Re; Marin being a bad example, that's why I linked the Boardman and the Cannondale too - they're definitely in the right direction, all I'm saying is it'd be nice if they were achieving substantially more and shouting about what a good job they were doing.
It still gets to me that bike shops don't list the weight of their bikes right off the bat though. Considering sales people stand around for at least 2 hours/day, it doesn't take long to weigh your range and print out some labels saying "Guide weight: 27-28lbs for Medium, no pedals" < do that and you'll cover 90% of the stock in the shop for an hours' work.
'03 Cannondale Jekyll & '00 Cannondale F500
Previously: '97 Cannondale F1000, '94 Kona Lava Dome, '03 Cannondale F800, '99 Marin Mount Vision, Custom Brand-X, '97 Marin Monocoque, Custom Merlin Hardtail, Falcon Stealth, Raleigh Grifter, Raleigh Burner