Bearings are cheap as chips... Proper maintenance is key even with cartridge bearings!
Even with fresh bearings etc, cones only one place in the country stock it would be a touch on the sealed options.
A sealed wheel starts from £60. Replace the bearings much less frequently and have a better product.
I’m just not a looseball fan, I just see poor economics. You can’t replace the cup, so unless you are constantly servicing it then you are fighting a loosing battle.
See where you are coming from, but top end hubs are still cup and cone. Bearings can be fit and forget...and the hubs last longer...
EDIT: New Brompton front wheels don't seem to come greased or adjusted correctly. As you warned me.
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