Really? Throwin Drake in there?
Ride bindings are not low quality. Sure the rubber mesh in the toes can break, but it really doesn't do much and if it wasn't there at all the toe strap would still function well.
I'd venture a guess your experienced friends either haven't touched Flow's in 6-7 years, or they have and never got them set up right, or they haven't tried them ever and are just repeating the opinions of the past. They are fantastic bindings and ride great.
If you do wanna stick with Ride I would suggest the Capo. You're bigger, you're going to flex that binding more than most of us.
Of course I'm throwing Drake in there! They're long-lasting, and after riding 2 pairs of my last bindings that broke, I know it's important that bindings are durable.
Right now I have a pair of Union bindings and it's great because I never have to worry about slamming them too hard and never need to tighten them up. Here's one thread, for examples, in which most users had only good things to say about their Drake bindings after having used them for years. http://www.snowboardingforum.com/equ...-bindings.html
I never said anything about Flow bindings, but some of my friends do have K2 Cinch bindings... and they both broke! I've also seen several reviews where people's Flow bindings have broken easily. Gnu bindings do look pretty strong though and I haven't heard of any breakage issues with them, so maybe I'll try those some day. Check this out: http://www.snowboardingforum.com/equ...-bindings.html
And yes, I would give a shit if the toe straps broke. Bindings are expensive, so I'd expect to get something that at least lasts several seasons without any problems.