Sony has the capability and research dollars to make the finest products in the world. That is what they tried to do with the the Qualia line. But it failed miserably because audiophiles make up 1/50th of the consumer market. They can make umpteen more dollars selling 100,000 MDR EXSL51's and 71's than they can making 1000 R-10's or 010's. Same thing with Sennheiser. They lost a ton of money with the Orpheus line even though they were better than anything else they ever made. John Grado can sell 10 million dollars or the SR-60's over a 10 year period, than 1 million dollars on the PS1000's in the same period of time.
The Qualia line was second to none, but the average consumer would prefer a pair of MDR-V600's over the 010's. That's just life and economics.
It is a shame, really, but it is reality.