That said, to be clear, this is basically a relabeled off-brand tablet. In adb it shows up as "Southerntelecom". I'm willing to bet this same basic tablet is available for a few dollars more without the Nook logo on the back.
All of this to say that it's maybe less likely that B&N wanted to pinch pennies on the charger and more that the charger was a cheap POS to begin with because the whole gimmick with this tablet is that it's cheap. It may be why that issue with ADUPS showed up a while back (they have since patched it out). B&N sells cases for it at $22.99, nearly half the cost of the tablet itself.