I can understand that there are a lot of HO modelrailroaders out there that are perfectly okay with using Hot Wheels Cars on their layouts - mainly because they're cheap - and because a lot of guys in this hobby do not appreciate the level of detail that goes into a scale replica of that small proportion....especially when they go to pay for it- ouch!
The vehicles that are available now, are far more in variety, detail and accuracy, than what was around when I was building my layout(s) back in the 60's and 70's.
Some guys are okay with discriminating detail about locomotives and structures, then ruin a scene with a piece of crap Di-Cast car that not only looks like a toy but is essentially a toy.
I don't relate to that at all - but then I'm not asking anyone to.
I personally, would rather pay a little more and have 5-6 scale and detailed replicas on my layout than a whole parking lot full of Hot Wheels...that's just me.
Call me crazy but I kinda like having the 'whole scene' in scale as much as possible.
There are a lot of very good 1/87th scale modern vehicles available and you may have to pay more for them but I wouldn't call that ridiculous. I'd call that staying true to your modeling.
A previous poster suggested that he could do a better job of producing scale vehicles than Walthers or Horizion does/has.
It's a nice thought but in reality, I would guess that once exposed to the reality of actually seeing a product from the drawing board, through pre-production and actually developing a marketable product, that he'd rather leave the task and headaches that go with planning a simple product like a scale HO automobile - to the experts.
I'm thankful for the vast variety that we currently enjoy - and I think one of the main reasons we don't see more modern day vehicles in scale (and more are becoming available each month), is that a majority of HO scalers still model a transition-era - not quite as many model strictly a modern era railroad - but that's changing too, with the intermodal industry sparking a lot more interest in our changing hobby.
I want to thank all the manufacturers out there who are listening and who are willing to consider new and distinctive scale vehicles for the HO market.
The phrase "way too expensive" for a scale replica vehicle, is all relative to how you perceive the finished scene.
Cheap Hot Wheels Cars are just that, and look, well...er, cheap.
Spending a little more on just one or two detailed vehicle(s), I make the difference in how an entire scene on my layout will appear - to you - and to others viewing it.
The test for me has been to make every ounce of every inch look as convicing and as realistic as possible - if I take a photo and it looks convincingly like the real thing, then I've accomplished my goal(s). If my scene looks like a miniature scene with toy stuff, then I probably will not be satisfied with my results.
That's just my take...everyone's entitled to their own enturpretations.