I had a few pairs, they were all made in China. My son currently has Tech 4's. And......... they are made in China.Where are you getting your info that A-stars aren't made in Italy? My Tech 8's definitely have a tag in them that says made in Italy.
I have had two pair of Tech 8's and the first pair I purchased in '97 and the second pair I purchased in 2005. The only reason for the second pair was that I had completely worn out the first pair so I think that they lasted a pretty good amount of time. I am still on my second pair and they aren't nearly as comfortable as the first ones. The newer version doesn't seem as flexible and they have a vent, by my pinky toe, that hurts when I have to wear them for a long time. I also have a pair of RC AXO's and those are very uncomfortable compared to the A-stars. I too am looking to make the switch to Gearne or Sidi.