Yeah but most big/good brands don't use factory specs. All the tech comes out of north America. Or at least Europe. K2, Burton, Rome, Lib Tech... These all have R&D HQs stateside. Bataleon is a European brand off the top of my head I can think of. Shit like Monson is what he's equating Santa Cruz to. Pressed out of a mould with little innovation. You're basic stick, nothing fancy. As for the name remark, I'm pretty sure he means that Santa Cruz is running off the fumes of their glory days. They're JUST a name. Not like back in the day when Santa Cruz had a sick pro skate and board team. That's why he also brought up Sims and Lamar... I still remember when Lamar was hype... Now its a brand sold in Sears.
Anyways, if you're on a budget or a beginner looking for a causal ride, get a Santa Cruz. If you wanna get it going, don't waste your money. And I sell this shit for a living.
I'd look at a year, or 2 old new, old stock board from a quality builder that you can pick up for close to the same price as a Santa Cruz. You can also look at a quality used board. Both options are going to be money better spent. As an example I picked up a 12 Signal Park Flat at the end of the season last year for $200.