As regards the brakes, did that one have dual pivot calipers. Mine did and they felt pretty good, never noticed any front flex, my gears didn't slip and it could handle a bit of single track surprisingly well. I agree its surprisngly heavy, the hinges are cast iron, its true
I reckon a Dahon would be a better bet for better money or Reisse muller Birdy for the same price though. Brompton is I feel trying to trade too much on its rep like harley davidson do in the motorbike world. Bike should be made of aluminium or high end steel for that price nowadays. I know a titanium one exists but that stupid money.
I totally agree on the "trading on reputation" thing.
It's a 2011 model so has all the newest kit. Yes they are dual pivots but there just isn't any bite at all. Maybe new pads, and certainly some better levers, would improve things.
Just had a look at a Dahon in Evans and that looked miles better. Alloy parts, nice kit. Looks like a modern bike!