Are these problems really so endemic?
On company philosophy, the trigger lock certainly raises concern. As far as I can tell, at least 90% of shooters dislike it and many absolutely abhor it. Some have even stopped patronizing Smith over it. So why would they persist in its application? This policy is both anti-customer and anti-functional from a mechanical perspective. So I could see reason to believe that there may be problems in other areas.
Then again, Smith's main competitor has an ugly embossed warning right on the barrel. At least it doesn't conflict with mechanical function, as far as I doubt the embossing weakens the barrel. That may be a moot point though since Rugers also have a lock. They just hide it in the handle. Of course, hiding the lock is a silly gesture so long as that warning is so prominently displayed.
All this really tells me is that it is high time for some new players to rise in the market. If the market was free to match supply and demand, they would have already...