Well...right or wrong I purchased some waders. I visited my local dealer this week and bought the Simms G3 Guide waders Simms Fishing Products : : G3 Guide Stockingfoots
and the Simms Headwater wading boots Simms Fishing Products : : Headwatersâ„¢ Wading Boot - AquaStealthÂ®
I almost ordered the GQS from LL Bean for $249 but had concerns about them being "lightweight" warm weather waders and how someone mentioned concerns about cold feet due to the gortex booties. The "Wicked Tough" LL Bean waders would also be an option, but then the price is back up to $300 and didn't seem to have any standout endorsements other than LL Beans warranty.
I tried the Patagonias on at my local dealer. However, as expected the feet were too small. Comparing the Patagonia's side by side to the Simms G3, it seemed like the Simms was made better (stronger material, feet fit better, pocket in front, etc.).
Ironically, when I was in the shop trying on the waders there was an Alaskan Bear hunting guide dropping off his older Simms G3 to get repaired and he had raved about how good the waders were.
In the end, the only wader that seemed to be comparable in materials and design was the Orvis Pro Guide 3's. Unfortunately my dealer had these on backorder and Orvis direct wasn't anticipating stock until May. Well, my big fishing trip is in May and I want to play with the waders before then.
Another thing that pushed me towards the Simms, is they seemed to be the only vendor offering the latest Goretex materials (LL Bean was vague in their description).GORE-TEXÂ® PRO SHELL - GORE-TEX® Products
Finally, although I won't pay much more just because it is American made, I do like the idea that I am buying a competitive product while not giving my money to China. Unfortunately the only reason Orvis and Patagonia tend to replace defective goods is because they don't make them and it would be impractical to send them back to China for repair.