Roy Slaper is basically a one man army working out of Oakland, CA. He began with a single straight/slightly loose cut that he hand crafted to order. After a much needed summer hiatus, Roy is now collaborating with SelfEdge on 2 cuts (vid above).
/prideThis personal treatment is most important to me. It feels like the company (no matter how large) actually considers the consumer an individual, and not just someone targeting a consumer group who "is unique in character and who likes being made to feel special". Some companies that I particularly enjoyed dealing on a personal level with are (in order of labels in the pic above): Tellason, ROY, Levis, Tanner, Jcrew, Hamilton. Even with large corporations like Levis and Jcrew, I find that if you take the time and talk to people, they will take care of you really well.
I was very lucky to be one of the lucky few to get the gen-1 before he shut down production. I got them as a graduation present to myself this summer, and due to their heavier weight (14oz.), I have not been wearing them as much as I would like, favoring the 12.5oz Tellasons. What impressed me most about dealing with Roy, was the very personal attention to detail that he devoted to each pair he crafted. I exchanged about 15 emails and a phone call with him until I got the right size that would shrink to be perfect for me.
Another important factor I look for: made in America. Everyone's mad about international outsourcing? Do something about it. For a pretty complete list of awesome looking clothing and accessories made in America please refer to Michael Williams' great website: A Continuous Lean.