I love Strelets and always have done, the amazing thing about their earlier figures was although they were not great sculpts they often painted up fantastically and really came alive. Obviously, sculpt quality is important and this has really improved recently but there are so many other positive aspects of Strelets like listening to customers, diversity, commitment to properly covering a subject and speed of production. I would say they are now the premier figure producer. Having said that there are a lot of companies doing good work, in particular, I appreciate Redbox who again have massively improved quality and, of course, have taken the bold step through their associated Alliance brand to enter the field of fantasy and sci fi. I still have affection for some of the older companies who seem to have lost their way a bit in recent years and hope they return to form. This is still an amazing time to be collecting 1/72nd figures.
Airfix and Matchbox will always be special, they got us in to the hobby/childhood etc . But the modern era are special too, not least of the reasons is the sheer number of sets, Airfix just over fifty, Matchbox a handful, but Hat well over 300 probably nearer 400 now, Strelets lost count , Caesar 100 + Italeri 100+ and others etc , still no one has done a decent LRDG/SAS set though.
Hegemony have done Desert War SAS of which I am sure you are aware but they are long way from breaking the quality barrier at present. It's a shame as I admire anyone who has a go at producing their own figures and very much hope that Hegemony can overcome their current limitations. There was a time when many people called Strelets figures ugly and wouldn't consider them, imagine if that had killed Strelets off. Even Mars are trying to improve their quality. I don't how we help companies, obviously not buying their figures sends them a very strong message but could also be terminal for them and I find that something of a dilemma.