I have two Shoba planes, bought fairly cheaply when they were first introduced here. The price (and to a much lesser extent, the quality) has gone up quite a bit since then. I lived in India for a while, and these planes exemplify a “good enough” philosophy applied to a lot of manufacturing over there.
I have a 4 1/2 smoothing plane, which is satisfyingly hefty, but mysteriously unbalanced in the hand; neither side is square to the sole, by an irremediable amount. The sole needed quite a bit of flattening, and is still not dead flat. The machining of the mating surfaces is poor, but not as poor as a made-in-England no. 5 Bailey plane I bought some 30 years ago.
The other is a jointer, with a grooved sole. Due to its length, much harder to flatten. The sides are squarish to the sole, and potentially could be made dead-square, although superfluous for jointing.
I fitted both planes with PV VII blades and matching irons. The price was still way below that of a complete plane from LV, and while obviously not in the same league as an Veritas plane, gives a better result than what I can reasonably use.
My father was a master builder. His carpenters made do with post-war Stanleys, without the finesse of polished soles, etc, and I used to think that my indifferent results from my Bailey were a case of a bad workman blaming his tools. Until I did some reading, and spent some time tuning the plane (to the extent possible in that sorry specimen), and replaced the blade with a Veritas one I am still a bad workman, but the results are much better, with less effort. I even equipped it with an Veritas variable - angle fence, although I hardly ever plane a board wide enough to permit its use.
If I were starting out now, I would go the Veritas route, and not waste time and money and curses on inferior tools. But at my time of life, the expense is not commensurate with my needs or abilities. In any case, I have moved to Japanese planes, and hardly ever use the Western planes anymore.