I have a Mabef full French Easel that I bought about 4-5 years ago.
It received a moderate amount of use for the first 2 years, then had
a 2-year break, and has been used fairly heavily during the past 6-9
months. I use it as both my studio easel and my PA easel so it gets
taken down/put up frequently.
It has held up pretty well. Some of the screws come loose and need to
be tightened regularly, and I had to replace a couple with bolts and
wingnuts. I've never had another easel so I don't know how another
brand would have performed with the same workload.
Unfortunately I don't remember how much it cost compared to the Julian
easel...but since I'm a cheapskate it was probably cheaper