I worked at a FRAM manufacturing and distribution facility north of Salt Lake for nearly 9 years. I only used them if I inspected them, and only after I learned what I was looking at, and that's because I knew how much manual assembly was involved. I've seen how they are assembled, and I've been on the assembly lines myself. I've worked in the QA department doing burst testing and FEMA's on the oil filters. It really depends on who you talk to, but I (personally) HAVE seen them come back with problems...typically with their PR
valves, but it was NOT due to the design. They are manually placed, as are the retainers that hold them. If they are not placed properly, they do not seat into the end of the filter media like they should. That's where the problems occur.
The filter media is ok...but not as great as it used to be due to newer technology. They do not disintegrate and cause paper to be sucked into the motors...and they don't collapse. At least I never saw one come back that way.
I hear people all the time complain about "blowing a FRAM filter off their car" or the "weak can design". If you have THAT kind of issue, you'd better be looking at an oil system problem, not the filter. Toyota was notorious for this issue in the early 90's. Their pressure regulators built in the pumps would malfunction, causing extreme pressure through the oiling system. Of course, the first thing to go is the filter. It only makes sense, it's a lot thinner material than a journal or passage way.
I currently don't use FRAM filters, since I don't work there and get a discount anymore. I use Pure One's on my cars now days...