My comments were actually geared more for esq. I am aware that no one asked about mathcing them up, it was just a bit of useless information =)
I'll explain a bit about the various finishes, and QC comments you made. Keep in mind that I'm merely explaining, not justifying, and while I don't necessarily agree, it is what it is.
Anodizing in large qunatities is a pretty expensive process which requires some pretty major equipment and some nasty chemicals which groups like OSHA and the EPA love. I know of no manufacturer that does it in house, all send it out to companies which specialize in it. When I have asked the people who do ours about some of the variances in color, it was explained like this:
Black is the single most difficult color to get properly. The dies used for it tend to become dilluted very quickly. When the anodizing is done, the parts are then sent to the color bath, where they will take on the color of the end product. Once they have taken the color, they are "sealed" which makes the color permanent. This is where the trouble usually comes in. The sealing takes out a certain amount of the dye, at the same time sealing the pores in the metal, preventing them from taking more color. The difficulty lies in keeping too much color from leaching out (leaving anything from gold to purple), because once the dye is out and the metal sealed, you're stuck with it. The ONLY way to add color is to strip off the old finish (sandblast or chemical etch), then re-do the entire process. Very few of the metal finishers out there will not guarantee a black color, so when the extra cost is incurred, the manufacturer (Colt, bushy, us, etc.). It could be forseen that the extra cost would then be passed along in higher lower receiver prices. Now, this was all told to me by someone who was basically defending himself, so it may be inaccurate, so don't shoot the messenger =)
As to the cast finish... some actually like it, and it was the norm for many many years for us, and tens of thousands sold. I prefer the forged (smoother) finish, too, but don't mind the cast finish. We're pretty up front about the forged looking better than the cast, and we're using them on our rifles for that exact reason, but the cast ones do have their place, too. The upside is lower cost, the downside is they aren't as "refined".