When (a few years back) I decided to go for a "higher value", (ie: IN MY OWN MIND) better protective helmet, I took a look at what the pro level, and other racers were wearing. I decided to buy an Arai helmet. Good enough for them, good enough for me. This was after a not-so-bad crash in which I flew over the car I'd broadsided, and landed safely on my head while wearing my Davida "Pudding Bowl" helmet. Also after my buying a Nolan "flipper" helmet, which was horribly ill-fitting on me. After my experience at The Service Pavilion, http://www.theservicepavilion.com/ where they meticulously fitted my helmet to MY head, I was convinced I'd done the right thing. Never before had I had any helmet actually FIT.
I agree that lots of money may go into fit & finish. However, Arai is a smaller company, family owned & operated. (according to the ON article a few years back) Probably by now, you can get a comparable lid for less... BUT a company like Arai is exactly the kind of operation I'd choose to support here at home, so throwing them a few extra bucks doesn't bother me.
To add a side note about protection...
I work in the Entertainment Industry. We do things that combine heavy industrial techniques & equipment with heavy construction type material and sensibilities. Our methods defy categorization and understanding, in many ways. When I buy tools or gear, I look for the highest levels of certification, typically ANSI rated & OSHA certified stuff ( I think((?)) that OSHA does NOT "rate" equipment but certifies, or recommends it, based on outside ratings?) . Like DOT and SNELL certs, ratings, & classification, these are the go-to standards for safety, strength, and protection. If a helmet carries BOTH DOT AND SNELL certifications, this means it meets certain standards, which are set thru rigorous testing, both nationally, and internationally (IF I'm not mistaken on this point). I'll take that as my own standard, too- thanks very much.
I've heard various arguments about helmet weight & forces generated in a crash, V neck injuries resulting from whiplash etc. In my mind, if there's any argument FOR a lighter helmet -and if you look, helmet weight differences from "light" to "heavy" aren't grand- this is it.
SO even tho there is absolutely zero question that helmets offer protection enough to save lives... Can anyone elaborate on G-forces, whiplash affects, or neck injuries?