Wait, what? Nobody wants to increase the error rate here, the point is that if the cost of the lower price is a significantly higher rate of errors, then you'll end up wasting everything else involved in getting to the point where you can check to see if you did get the correct gene in. This is only really going to save time and/or money if its accuracy is sufficiently close to being as good as the previous methods that you come out ahead in the end.
There is no real reason why quality has to drop, but even if that is the case there are quite a lot of methods for screening cheaply for desired results when you get more than you can manage (specific methods of course depending on what you are trying to do), If you already get enough samples to have to wait later then of course there is no value on getting more of them with a supposedly lower quality, but if your bottleneck is the first step then of course manufactured DNA is going to help getting the job done.
To put it in IT terms which might help here: Since DNA is in fact a means of transmitting data, my question here is entirely how the quality of service is. Do they have equal quality of service? The cheaper method, if it's got better QoS (more likely to get the sequence of bases correct) then it's definitely an improvement and the drop in price is actually probably less important--on the other hand, it might be like going from having your bytes transmitted by a guy operating a switch to attempting to do so via semaphore flags on a foggy day.
The advantages of DNA manufacturing is not evident for someone that order a single oligo to do all the subsequent job for months as it seems to be your case, because your specific application focus only on the quality of the sequence. But for people that need to try many different sequences to see which one works efficiently its gold. Trying dozens of sequences at once and getting a few positive results is then a huge advantage, even if later you need to do some kind of extra work on them to corroborate.
We're already at the point that we need a 'reliable' sequencing robot. It's worth repeating that the backlogs are pretty much universal--the demand far outstrips current capacity, but it's a laborious process which automation only makes slightly less laborious. Running the PCR machine for a few extra cycles is not really that expensive, having the equipment is, and our 'reliable' sequencing robots still have an error rate because PCR itself has an error rate.
Exactly the case when this advantage have no meaning, but a lot of people have the opposite problem, their sequencers are free a lot of time because they can't proceed to that point without first trying a lot of different oligos, something that right now is very expensive (specially when you are ordering oligos of hundreds of mer) so you have to try only a few each time to avoid waste.
As far as the people giving you grant money are concerned, 'extra experiment' and 'personal bill' are the same, and what this might do is raise your chances of getting a grant at all and/or the grant money actually being sufficient for you to do the experiment you were given it for. If you manage to somehow come out with leftovers, returning it actually may be the best idea simply because that may improve your chances in the future. (One thing I covered very, very carefully as an undergrad is what is involved in the grant process--there was rather little doubt that I'd be involved in research, the surprise was that my body decided to inform me that I was going into the computational end; I decided I'd stack and try to move to neuroscience.)
Not at all, in most grant systems you have to give a very detailed report of all your activities and results. Getting more and better results is more important than saving on money, so If you increase the impact of your results (better Journal) by using your whole grant then you will be much more likely to receive a new grant later on. Giving back money in academia is not something positive because frequently means that you did not have the capacity to use the resources you had available, so it works against you in the future. Extra experiments (justified ones of course) means extra capacity to do work, personal bill is just fraud, they will never be the same.
That's pretty much the case, except once again the problem is that pretty much everywhere has a queue. You could probably manage to have a long queue within days of opening up a new lab--the overall capacity is distinctly below what we need, but the costs of expanding it to meet the demand are a major obstacle.
That sounds like a very badly balanced place, The normal situation is having many samples to work at the beginning, having negative results along the way will reduce the number of samples in each step until the final stages when you can focus the work in very few options, so you get a lot of equipment for the first steps and gradually less and less of the equipment used in the next steps. Having a lot to work on the first step and suddenly being in endless queue for the second speaks for a lack of oversight (and of course having an increased ability to do the first step will do nothing to solve this situation)
Nowadays long sequences are a frequent bottleneck at the beginning (just not in your case), you order just a few and have to do a lot of things with them even when you suspect that other oligos may have been better because its expensive to order them all. If you suddenly can have dozens of options instead of just a few, you can try and find the best one to keep working, the rest of the steps may be the same but in a best case scenario you would have much better chances of working with higher efficiency. The resources saved may not be that much, but your results are better or faster. That is the real advantage.