My son recently found out why they are cheap: the ferrule that holds the tip in is not firmly mounted—it just has a friction fit, and after a while it comes loose and the tip falls out:
It looks like I’ll be buying a new soldering iron soon. I’m undecided between getting a hot-air rework station with a soldering iron, or separate tools for the hot-air rework and for regular soldering. A combined tool is cheaper and takes less bench space, but I don’t often need the hot air, so a smaller soldering iron would be more convenient most of the time. Also, the cheap hot-air rework stations that include a vacuum pickup tool don’t usually have a soldering iron as well, though for $160 I can get an Aoyue 968A+ that does.