There is a lot of good stuff out there. The buyer should consider what conditions the clothing will likely be subjected to and how long they expect to keep it. Then look at the water repellency/breathability and durability of the fabric used, whether the garment has fully or partially taped seams, seamless shoulders, underarm zips, the number of pockets, zipper size and durability of zippers and so forth. Buy what you need and pay for what you need and no more or any less. There is a fair amount of information on this subject on the web.
I've had very good experience with a North Face parka that finally more or less has been "retired" after 10 years of use on and off the slopes. I sent it to their warranty department twice for minor repairs during its later years. They were done promptly and without charge. For that reason when shopping for a mid-layer last season I bought North Face. However, I just didn’t get excited about the appearance of their shells the last several seasons.
For very rugged top quality stuff it's hard to beat Haglofs (umlaut over the "o"). [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] The problem is that it's not sold in the USA. It is being market tested now in Canada, I think. It's available in the UK, continental Europe and Japan.
SOS (Sportswear of Sweden) makes very good technical ski wear although it is no longer sold in the USA.
They focus on skiwear as opposed to mountaineering gear. For high-end quality on the slopes gear you need to consider Obermayer as well. However, a lot of folks swear by Helly-Hansen and Columbia for wear on the slopes and elsewhere and they cost less than the others mentioned here. [img]smile.gif[/img]