Fourteen years have left their marks on one of my most used hand tools (that I still own).
My STANLEY 20oz. nailing hammer has pounded, pulled, scraped, pried, reached, built, and demolished in all weather miserable and fair.
At the time I believe it was an $18.+tx. purchase at the local Home Depot. Like my knives, it's a solid tang (one piece of steel). It's "patented torsion control grip technology" and neoprene coating have kept it from falling down holes ("I" would never go in!), off of roofs, or just plain outta my hand trying to toe in that last wall at the end of the day. The solid tang makes for balance, very important after a few hours flailing your arm to rubber. They finish the forging with a coating that prevents rust and flaking. I tend to slip it a bit of WD-40 anyway along with the rest of my tools, I like to think they appreciate it.
I like to buy things ONCE. This one is my third. One I made a gift to someone just getting into the trade. The other is standing watch in a rooftop gable somewhere in E.Texas. That was a loong day.
There are plenty of good tools and work products out there, plenty not so much, I won't debate which is the best.
I do know this though, if you got a mess of work to get done, this STANLEY will get you out of it.