I'm pretty new to hat collecting, but I spend a great deal of time browsing here, and I have some experience of my own now. It seems to me that hat quality, and comparing hat makers, is about 50% a matter of taste. Sure, we all want a hat that will stand up to daily wear, and if it can take serious abuse, then it's obviously made better. However; thickness, density, softness, finish, weight... who's to say what's really better. As several have said (in this thread and others, in different ways), a good hat is a hat you like. I'm coming to feel that the best way to learn about hat quality is to mix equal parts Fedora Lounge input and personal experimentation.
That said, let me conclude with this; When in doubt, trust this forum. These guys know their stuff, and what they don't know they make up for in passion.