If you look at window regulators from German cars made in the 70s and early 80s, they're pretty indestructable. They'll last for decades before a motor or switch will usually fail first. As Icoleman said, the bean-counters have won and we're stuck with the current, cheaper design.
I've owned several older German cars (I keep them a long time) and have yet to experince a regulator failure until my E46 (two failures).
Last edited by klax; 10-05-2012 at 12:00 AM.