You sound like me.
I didn't feel like the Cartels were cheap or anything though, they definitely didn't feel as "locked in" as the Atlas. That's really all it was though, just a feeling, as I had ZERO problems riding in them, I just liked my Unions better.
I had the same issues with my 390s from 2010-2011. I liked them, but at times, they wouldn't stay dialed all the way down the hill. I started getting superstitious and sketched out on every run. I heard they addressed that for last/this year.
You're gonna love your atlases.
Yeah I am stoked to ride the Atlas'.