People buy Rugers because they are an industry leader, not always because they make the best product. They don't care about people who know the difference because so many people don't know or don't care.
That wasn't my point. People buy Rugers because Rugers are EXACTLy what they want, they just aren't what you want.
Honda Pilot and Porsche Cayenne. I've ridden in both. The differences are obvious and I am aware of them. I'm still not buying a Porsche Cayenne because at the end of the day my Ruger 10/22 doesn't care which floor mat it rests on during the ride to the range. I'm not sure on when Ruger took market share, but I think it was relatively recently. It was because of the changes you are bemoaning.
I received a survey from them a week or two ago. It was the BEST marketing survey I have ever completed. Concise and I think they got great info with their questions. They market(to the patriotic masses) WAY WAY better than any of their competition.