Thanks for the input. That's a shame they don't treat their customers better considering its a big purchase for most people.Same experience here. ARE does a good job of pushing any customer comments/complaints to their dealers, who they largely leave in the dark.
I needed a replacement lock for the DCU on my F250. Rather than, I don't know, mailing it, they shipped it truck freight with the next batch of camper shells to my local ARE dealer. It took six weeks to get the lock. Fortunately my dealer is transparent about everything and even willing to work with me, so I didn't mind.
ARE DCU's and Leer DCC's are not made by them. They are outsourced to Tradesman Truck Tops. http://tradesmantrucktops.com/
They are in Northern California. I got a quote from them for essentially an unbranded ARE DCU. They have great pre-purchase service and it's refreshing to talk to the manufacturer directly. I ended up ordering a DCU from my local dealer, knowing ARE's "service", because I know the product is decent and Tradesman welcomed me back if I had issues and didn't get a response from ARE.
Another slightly more visually-appealing option is Caravan Campers. I considered them, but didn't go with them because they didn't have a half-door option at the time that lets you keep the tailgate.