It seems to be that there are 2 types of tables - completely enclosed tables in which the sides envelop the pockets, like my Hawthorne or the current Centurion, or ones where the sides are broken by each of the pockets, like the Contender Allentown. I am wondering if the latter type doesn't have nails. Or Zeke, did you mean that all tables have these nails?
Aside from the nail issue and an issue that I've had with my Hawthorne table is that the center metal bracket coming loose; it always seemed to be coming loose if I bumped into it, and I was always tightening the shit out it to stop it (I think one pocket in particular had a broken wooden bracket that I will address later.) And another thing that I haven't liked with my Hawthorne is the fact that looking from the bottom up, one sees the slate and cloth, rather than there being some type of cover piece - but I suppose that all but the most expensive tables are like this; it's not that major of an issue that I would want to spend a lot of cash.
Anyway, bulk furniture quality wise, I've been quite pleased with my Hawthorne, and I'm wondering, bulk furniture quality wise, how good my Hawthorne is compared to the current lineup of Brunswick or Contender (which seems to be the cheapo line of Brunswick), and how model would I need to get the same nice wood finish. (NOTE: I am only interested in a 7' table - and the reason that I got the Brunswick way back when is because the only 7' tables that Brunswick made were the Hawthorne and some others that evidently had cheapo looking sides, and the Brunswick was only like $300-400 more.
And while I'm at it, there is another issue I have - I know that at least one of the small wooden brackets that fit up against the slate (i.e., that those damn nails are affixed to) is cracked. Is there any way to get a replacement?
As for the pockets, I seem to remember that there were (what looked to be nice) leather pockets, but I wonder if I could get a more premium set. Also, inside the back of the pockets there was a dinky plastic cup looking thing (actually, it was only like part of a cup, and obviously without the base) - again, that was nailed in. I'm wonder if it possible to get a nicer cup. I suppose that I could glue the cup, but I'm wondering if it would be difficult to take out. A perfect setup would be some type of plastic bracket that is nailed (or glued) in, and then an inner lining that fits on that snugly, so that the nail is not noticed.
Perhaps my issues are rather minor and with due diligence I could rectify them - and would not be worth exchanging for another table, as I would probably would not get much cash for current table, and would need to pay full price for a new one. (This presumes that I haven't lost my slate - I had to rescue my table from my flooded home, and left it at a friend of mine's business, and I can't remember if we had located the slate, and it will be a few months until I get back home and look around, either at my home or at his business.)