It's hard to buy a shoddy-built band saw mill. I'm not aware of a manufacturer that has a bad reputation for quality. Some mills will have features & options than others in the same price range & class than others. Some will be fairly priced some will be over priced.
Some companies will take longer to deliver than others - especially true with some of the smaller mom & pop operations because some do not keep much inventory. But also because a lot of the smaller companies stay busy and are legitimately backed up. So are many of the larger mill makers though.
Norwood makes great mills and for new mills I believe they are reasonably priced. My first mill was a LM2000 with a 23HP B&S gas engine. It was a great little mill but I needed more. I forget how long I used it, nearly 2 years maybe more, and I sold it for ~ $600 or $700 less than what I paid. They hold their resale value in other words, as does Woodmizer.
I always advise prospective mill buyers to be patient and look at the used market. Especially with the current state of the economy. I also advise not to go into debt to get a mill, especially thinking you'll make the payments with the mill. While this is possible, it almost never happens in reality.
That's not personal advice, it's part of the whole equation that many new owners don't consider seriously enough and end up losing their dream of milling their own wood, and making a little extra coin on the side.
If you cannot pay for the mill outright save your money until you can, because you're going to have to buy a LOT of other items you can't even imagine right now.
If you do buy new, Norwood does business inside Canada. Their mills are assembled in Canada & also in the USA. But don't get hung up on purchasing a mill by brand only. But I do say this to every prospective mill buyer also:
If you buy used, try to find a good deal on a used WM. When you buy a used WM you also get free support, including phone support with your mill. There may be other companies that do this but I'm not aware of any. Free support with a used piece of machinery. Buy a used Chevy then call and ask them to put a tech on the phone to help you troubleshoot the engine. Better not hold your breath. With WM they'll say "Okay you bought one of our mills great. Let's get your mill information first & then we'll get down to fixing it for you. . . " .
In a few days you'll receive a welcome folder from them with your account number, mill info, and some marketing materials yes, but it's all free. they know you'll need parts after all! Still a great deal. Having said all that WM isn't the only great company, and WM's aren't for everyone. Manual mills especially are quite simple machines and you can maintain them 100% yourself - and most of us sawyer types you included I'm sure, are able to do any repairs.
Also don't get hung up on the whole "4-poster vs cantilever" issue. Both designs are valid and both have strengths & weaknesses. One company which shall remain nameless markets their mills by showing a cantilever design in their brochures and suggesting since they wobble (they do wobble on dragback etc. but they stop quickly) they cannot cut accurately.
This is preposterous. WM mills have cut more lumber than all other mills combined. literally. they wouldn't have been in business for 12 months if the design cut less than perfect lumber when properly adjusted. Nuff of that debate.
So even with the WM promo I just typed don't get tunnel vision for any single brand - just something to consider if you run into a good deal.
You apologized for asking "so many questions" but I believe I answered more than you asked. So my apologies for that!