I wouldn't call it a "heartbreaker" because I've never purchased a single one, but anything Benchmade disappoints me. Don't get me wrong, they're wonderfully made knives, but I have two issues with them. The first and more minor issue: they all look the same. Well, not ALL of them, that's unfair hyperbole. Better to say a great many of their models look very similar, and their general design is classic, conservative. I love a "classic, conservative" design, but I also love wild, unique designs; modern, aggressive designs; balanced, subdued designs; etc. The point is I like diversity of design, and that's not Benchmades strong suit.
The real problem though, and the reason I don't own, and have never owned a single BM is the cost vs what you get. And I don't think I'm cheap. I'm far from rich, but I will throw down when the time comes to invest in a really excellent knife. I just finished the purchase of my first single knife to exceed $1000; I have an entire knife roll--with most slots doubled up--of Microtech knives, including a Damascus UTX-70 hellhound, and a Stormtrooper Ultratech dagger; I have four true customs, including that recent $1K purchase, and a Marfione Customs MSG3 (a "cheap" version, no meteor inlays or mirror polishing, but still custom). On the other hand, I also have some Chinese knock-offs and a bunch of cheap Boker autos; I have a dozen or so Spyderos, from a $50 Ladybug to an Aogami Super Blue Calypso; and I LOVE my half-dozen Kizers, the $89 Alter Ego best of all. So I don't feel guilty of sinply thinking $ = awesome knife!
All that said, BM knives, in my opinion, are between about 10 and 35% too expensive, considering the materials. Take the famous Infidel: it's about $420, has a blade a little over 3.5" made from D2, and an 6061 aluminum body. I believe both satin and black blade finishes are available, but no other options as to shape, serrations, etc., I believe. Compare that to a Microtech Ultratech: a blade a bit under 3.5" made from M390 (or Elmax, or CTS 204P or in the past S30V), both plain and partial serrated plus full-serrated blades with finishes in satin, stonewash, their propriety "apocalyptic" stonewash, bronze, "apocolyptic" bronze, and DLC black. Additionally, they have single-edge, double-edge dagger and bayonet styles, tantos, and (my personal favorite) what is basically a double tanto point that makes for a triangle tipped, double-edged blade shape they call "Spartan". Ultratech bodies are 6061 aluminum, like the Infidel. Prices on Mictotech just went up, but unless it's some sort of special edition, the very highest price is $294; the majority are between $274 and $289.
Not cheap, but over $100 less than the Benchmade. Some people argue the Infidel is better than the Ultratech, and that may well be the case. Microtechs do have a stiff action and rough button. But the Infidel isn't $140 better, esp considering the blade steels . And that's kind of how I feel about everything Benchmade makes: for what I would spend on any given Benchmade, I could get more knife for the $ with something else. Almost every Benchmade has D2 or 154 CM blades, although the new Griptillians have been upgraded to...S30V. Not S35VN, just the 30V. And the prices just went up about 20%.
No offense to any Benchmade fans, and I should add that I don't flip balis, so maybe I missing their best products. But I can't count how many times Ive walked into the knife shop fully intending to buy my first BM, but then I get in there, feel the cheap-o FRN scales, or the decent-but-nothing-special blade action; notice that the nearby ZT with AMAZING action and CPM 20CV is only $30 more, or the Spyderco is $30 less, or the comparably priced Kizer has S35VN and an all titanium body, not to mention looks cool as hell, and...still no Benchmades in my collection. It's really starting to bug me, strange to say.
But you know what I actually purchased recently that I've been trying and failing to love (esp for the $$$)? This thing: