I agree that OE is necessary. I also believe it's cheaper to do it right the first time. So it really does depends on the part itself and how it's used.
In the race world, a friend of mine is one of the fastest guys in the world in his element. He brakes a lot of axels and over time, figured out that the auto zone axels hold up and break just as often as custom, big power rated axels he was buying. He uses auto zone axel now that come with life time warranties and simply swaps them out when the go.
VerMonster, I'd really be interested in hearing if you sourced your drums in the USA, and if so, where. Shipping cost is going to be pretty hefty for those heavy items. And I'm sure I speak for many reading these threads, we appreciate you sharing all this info!