So pretty generally big box store and other lesser bikes get a bad rep for having low quality parts. A number of no-name brand bikes use Hi-Ten steel frames, which in combination with cheap parts usually gives them the verdict of not worth it completely, or not worth the price even if it's relatively low.
But what about these "low end" bike frames? Is it worthwhile to get, say, a 250USD or 300USD bike from someone like Schwinn or the other mass produced labels and, over time, upgrade the parts to something more proper? Is there something about the frames that are unsuitable? Every moving part's going to wear out eventually, so is getting one of these lower dollar bikes with upgrades in mind a good approach or not? What are principals of good frames?
After all, the bones of a bike is the frame, so I think it's something worth scrutinizing - it'll be around longer than anything else.
This is less for, say, $80 Huffey POS MTB's and more for the high-end-low-end stuff, that usually seems to start somewhere around $200. I'm kind of tempted to get this $300 single speed "Roadster" style I've seen that has an Alu frame, as a hold over until one day owning an Opa, or something similar.
As an aside, why is Hi-Ten steel frames specifically bad, while I've seen other steel frame bikes get good marks? Same question goes for "gas pipe" frames. I get they are bad, so I have no hope for them, but I think it's good to get the Why so I can explain to others.