Hmmm, the chatter & number of Blogs documenting the shadiness of the Construction/Development world (in the USA) seems to know no end...
Horror Stories surrounding Contractors, Developers and low-quality residential construction are abundant.
As I told my brother-in-law 5 years ago, "you can't keep building houses for $170K, then sell them for $800K to people making $85K, and not expect this whole thing to blow up. At some point, market forces are going to realize that a $170K house is not worth $800K-- almost regardless of location."
Read how one Bentley driving Northside developer has allegedly fled the country -- owing money all over the place [ChicagoBubbleBlog.com]
Personally, I don't think developers and contractors should ever be given the benefit of the doubt. Experience tells me they almost always lie.
(Also, Please consider posting your horror story photos to the Shantyworld Flickr.com "Construction Nightmares" photo group.)