There were junk devices back then too.
I got a $15.00 mouse that worked for 2 month and failed.
Laptop Drives were notoriously bad. Memory could fail on you...
I needed to get a new internal modem every few months.
The real difference before 2001 we were expected to pay a couple of grand on your PC. and a lot more for a workstation. Because these things were so expensive they made sure they used quality parts. Post Tech Bubble pop. We started to opt for cheaper/faster/lighter So cheaper and Lighter means more flimsy plastic, where metal was used, but we wanted faster too so they had to cut costs in more areas of quality. Having it last 4 now is considered a good run.