How can you say that the Sequoia isn't durable? It only hit the market a short time ago, surely you haven't worn one out already.
I have had one since before it was released to the public. And yes, it shows ALOT of wear. Not worn out, but getting there.
You should know also that the standard of durability I use is one where I compare a saddle's durability to say, an old school Weaver saddle. You know, the ones with a leather back. The 200 dollar model sold everywhere. Not uncommon to see one of those which is over 15 years old, and still as safe to use as the day it was bought.
These saddles are used by working climbers throughout our entire industry. They are affordable to the wage earner. Your average guy working for a tree company gets between 100-200 dollars a day. After taxes and such, a weeks take home pay equals roughly 450-900 dollars. A 500 dollar saddle is alot of money for them.
High performance saddles, such as the TreeFlex or the TreeMotion are out of reach for your average climber. Or, if they do buy one, it is a serious investment.
I have a hard time recommending a saddle to this market unless I know they are going to get an real good return on their investment.
Personally, I like to buy and use these latest saddles and gear. But I am an exception to the rule. For me it is not a big deal to plop down the money. Not bragging, it is just that I can budget that money as a business owner. Far better for me to do it, and write up my thoughts on it, then to have a wage earner buy one and be disappointed in the purchase.