NOS aren't horrible (at least my opinion) outside of ebay where the same ones have been overpriced and unsold for years. I budget $400 each piece towards it, and have seen them as low as 250 about 2 months ago. My problem is, there's always SOMETHING - like the radiator conking out- just when it's time to go pick them up because someone is selling.What? You realize the general pricing on NOS truck fenders for 73-80, right? I've heard the aftermarket fenders aren't all that and a bag of chips, but NOS GM fenders are pricey AF.
10 years ago $120 got you them right from gm. My problem with "aftermarket" isn't just the insane hours trying to get them to line up... they 'claim' same gauge and thickness of metal as original but the strength of the metal is garbage comparatively. Tailgates bend if you sit on them. Fenders dent if you lean on them.
These companies don't grasp that when you make a fender in 2020 for a 2020 truck it's largely an appearance item and the integrity comes from the underpinnings, so weak steel is fine. But when you make a fender in 2020 for a 1970s truck, the integrity comes from the fender metal itself so weak flimsy steel is a no-go.
Besides, its all about project creep... spend $100 or $200 on aftermarket, or $400 on original. One is done right, the other you won't be happy with within a couple years. Factor in body work time, paint and materials cost... an extra 800 on the fenders/doors above aftermarket cost is a drop in the proverbial bucket.
I try to keep things straight in my head by comparing NOS to late model costs. Fender on the 2018 isn't that much different than NOS for the 1977, I just try not to think how cheap it used to be