I have only fairly recently gotten seriously into BP and when I jump into just about anything I do so with both feet. I started out with an 1858 Remington Sheriff, then a 3rd model Dragoon (both Uberti) and lastly 2 ROA, one stainless, one blued.
So I ordered the cheapest Pietta from Midway. An 1851 Navy-ish, brasser. I knew that it was a low end price point model as it had no Navy roll engraving on the cylinder, the grip is black plastic and of course the brass frame, which is not highly polished. I was okay with all of that due to the price of $234, and free shipping code.
I know that many posts tell of Piettas being of superior build quality, here are the issues I have with the Pietta:
1 - The wedge was not inserted deep enough for the wedge spring to pop up on the other side of the barrel. In fact it had been driven in so hard at the factory that it took several good whacks with punch and hammer to remove it. It is stamped with a number 3 on the bottom which I assume was the choice of the person who assembled it (assuming the number has something to do with proper fit). Anyway I had to file one edge down to get it to fit correctly.
2 - The barrel was difficult to remove, when reinstalling it I had to tap the muzzle with a plastic mallet to get it to seat properly. I removed and replaced it several times so I could get a nice shiny spot(s) on the arbor so could lightly sand those high spots down. Using 320 grit paper I removed the high spots until I could seat the barrel by hand.
3 - upon removal of the cylinder I noticed bluing salts had cooked out and surrounded one of the nipples. I decided to remove all of the nipples for cleaning. Two of them were clogged with bluing salts and the one that had salts around the outside of it was not even screwed in all the way, it just spun off with no effort.
4 - I disassembled the remaining parts of the frame. The roller on the hammer did not rotate. I drove out its pin and sanded off some burrs on it and reinstalled, it now rotates as it is supposed to.
So for my first Pietta experience I am not impressed. I had nothing similar on the Ubertis. Like you said , cheapest one you could find.