Thanks, I love the subject of your very in depth interview.
Wargame publishing has never been anything other than a marginal business. Nobody would ever do it to get rich; you do it because you love it and you hope to be able to get enough compensation for it that you will be able to continue doing it. I don't sell games at a loss, so it is a real business and not a hobby. I don't know that I can really answer your question though: not because I have any big secret but because I don't have enough insight into the cost structure of other companies to know why they don't offer better components. From having read their customer comments, though, I can say that one big part of it is that their customers don't seem to press them for more: why should a publisher pay for mounted boards if their customers are willing to buy games with paper ones?
I have been trying repeatedly to tell people: consumers should stop trying to find excuses for poor quality. Try complaining about poor components in some of the wargame page here and you will likely get chided for being "light weight".