PC board construction is fine if you do it right. A few rules to follow for serviceabilty and reliability: Don't use smaller components than you NEED to. Bigger components are easier to handle, easier to replace, and can dissipate more power, contributing to reliability. Size thru-hole lead holes so that the leads pass thru the board with room to spare. This allows them to be easily installed and, maybe just as importantly, easy to desolder and replace without damaging the board. Always use plated-thru holes and specify a copper trace weight that's MORE than the bare minimum. 2 ounce copper traces, plated thru, are good for just about everything. Yeah, Marshall didn't do that but Marshall always has gone for "good enough" and "don't spend a penny you don't have to spend.". Their ST1 boards are known for dropping traces after being touched by a soldering iron a few times. Just because Marshall was cheap doesn't make it a good way to make a board. Don't mount parts on a PC board that are going to be subjected to thermal or mechanical stress. Keep the board cool and it'll outlast the steel chassis it's mounted in. Try to put all wiring and connectors along ONE edge of the board so the board can be rotated upwards for access to the back side, if repair is needed. If this is impractical, try to include a service loop in the wiring if it doesn't create problems. Always consider the possibilty that you may have to repair your own board. So design it to be easy for you or anybody else to access and repair. Always think serviceability. Solder mask is a good thing. So is a printed layer showing component values and information for the service technician in the future.