+1 to BLE . . . . .yes, there is no doubt that the ROA was/is a good BP handgun but I think you have a number of factors that enter in to it . . . . first, did the sales really warrant the manufacturer of it by Ruger. Second . . . there's the price of a ROA . . . it's was more than the price of the Italian copies . . . yes you can argue "quality" . . . but it all boils down to the price of the handgun being low enough that most folks can afford to buy one and get in to shooting.
A good example - the Ruger Single Six or the Ruger Bearcat - pricey and a lot of folks don't have that kind of $ to shell out for a handgun . . . but, they can for a Heritage Rough Rider at less than $200 (versus $500). Can you compare quality? Probably not but the lower priced one allows a person to shoot and have fun and not have to do without milk and eggs.
I'm not knocking Ruger for dropping it or their prices nor am I knocking Heritage - I own Rugers and a Heritage RR and love them all.
A lot of folks also lean towards the Italian as they are at least somewhat "historically correct" while the ROA is an animal of it's own design. Makes a diffeence on the use you have for it - if you're a hunter or serious target shooter - you would probably like the ROA - if you are a reenact, Civil War Buff, Old West Buff, etc. - they you'd lean towards the Italian copies to be more historically correct.
Another factor is that the way things are now, I'm sure Ruger can produce and sell more units of their cartridge firearms than they can if they re-introduced the ROA. If you've got plenty of orders for modern handguns and rifles and can keep your people more than busy building them - you're main aim will be to introduce new designs and models that will sell to a broader customer base.
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63