Re: 2 questions from my wife and I
The Tell-Tale signs:
Plated Common Chamber - The common chamber has a plate with 2,4, or 6 holes in it covering the open heart.
Over-exaggerated plastic accents - very common in Chinese hookahs
Metal has a Dull Shine - like opposite of the shiny-side on aluminum foil
Weight - Crap hookahs are ridiculously light.
Now, some Plated Chambers smoke very well, it's just the pull and cleaning that can be potential problems for a smoker. A Smoker may not like the tighter pull of the plated chamber. Also, it's literally impossible to clean out the entire inside of the heart, no matter how many pipe cleaners you can possibly jam in there.