Political ramifications not withstanding, China does produce some quality products. The Bugei blades are forged and folded in a specific setting and are not produced by some sort of stamping on an assembly line. Since you used the firearms analogy, I would compare them to a Colt .45 ACP from Colt's Custom Shop. The basic 1911 Government Model will do everything a shooter wants to do, while a pistol from the Custom Shop will have specific features and tighter fits the owner desires. You could also purchase a custom .45 from Kimber and spend considerable money. You could buy a used Colt that had been carried by a Texas Ranger and used in a dozen gunfights for a whole lot more. I've heard that copies of the Colt are being made overseas and are complete garbage as well and being sold as the real deal. If those exist, they would correspond to the junk blades you see advertised on TV late at night. Hope that makes sense.
Don't rush into buying a blade until you decide what you really want, and then purchase from a reputable dealer.
I will return to rolling in peanut husks now....