Found a good deal on PMF's & PCE's, 2 boxes of each, RUB MAY 19 & SOR FEB 21, respectively. Only took a week to arrive and they look fantastic, so I went back to order more. The website was undergoing an update for a few days, but when it came back up I ordered another 2 boxes of the PMF's at the same price. But for some reason the PCE's had nearly tripled in price (From about $4.50 apiece to nearly $12. Huh??? Crazy!!!).
Also have 4 boxes of RyJ Regalias de Londres coming. I had not bought much of anything new in a while, what with prices spiraling out of control. No way to know if they're ever coming back down, but I have enough, and enough variety, to wait it out and see. But I smoke a lot of these less-expensive PC's, so when I scoped out a decent price on them I figured I'd better stock up.
All of these mentioned are coming in right around $4.00-$4.50, or about half of what Monte #4's (another everyday staple for me) are going for right now, not to mention a couple of bucks less than most vendors are getting at the moment. Had to shop hard to find worthwhile deals, though. And even if the market corrects itself at some point, I don't think I'm ever going to find these budget stretchers much cheaper ever again. Plus, their quality has really improved over the last few years, so big wins all around.
Something's gone haywire with my permissions. It's telling me I don't have permission to reply-quote your post. LOL
But to answer your question, I think PMF's are generally better than RyJ MF's. But it could just be luck of the draw, and the fact that over the years I've probably gone though 20-30 boxes of PMF's and only 5 or 6 boxes of the RyJ version.
That said, those times when I've gotten hold of an exceptional box of RyJ's and compared to the best of the PMF's I've had, it made me wonder if they aren't actually the exact same cigar, just labelled and boxed after-the-fact according to which they needed at that moment.
At any rate, all these "cheap & cheerfuls" can be hit or miss. Fortunately, I'm finding them increasingly more consistent in the last few years, say from about 2017 on. I think this category of smallish cigars that were once-upon-a-time machine-made, before being converted to handmade in 2002, can be great bargains. And at this point I don't think there's any significant difference between PMF's and something more mainstream like BPC's that have always been handmade.
As I write this, I'm sitting here smoking one of the PMF's that arrived just 4 days ago and it is sublime!