In my 16 years of playing drums professionally, I've only owned two kits, both cheap Pearl Export and CB Percussion setups from the early '90s. (I rotate which ones I use onstage and which ones remain set up in the basement.) I used a band-mate's classic Ludwigs for awhile, but preferred my cheapies. My snare drum and cymbals are the only things I spent a lot of money on. (Note: low-end modern stands and other metal hardware are superior to the stuff that used to come with even expensive drums in the '60s and '70s.)
In part, I think it's because with cheaper drums I don't worry much about them. I replace hardware and stuff as it breaks over time, so the kits become more Frankenstein by the year. Maybe one day I'll spring for something higher end, as Jeremy is. Ayotte and Taye (where Ayotte's founder now works), both HQed here in Vancouver, are on top of my list.
I recommend Sabian cymbals. Not only are they good, they're Canadian, made in New Brunswick.
Interestingly, Jeremy's Gretsch drum brand is owned by Kaman (like my CBs), while Gretsch guitars come from Fender. They began as part of the same company decades ago, but now only the brand remains in common—a sign of the times.