...the overwhelming majority of home 3D printers produce rough, unappealing objects.
Things are changing very rapidly, Jeff, and I've had recent experience with a number of models from the Chinese manufacturers Anet and Creality, who produce many of the inexpensive fused filament consumer printers used. From that experience, I don't agree with you. For those that I've tried, geometry (how the part is oriented within the build envelope, divided where necessary to limit overhang and the need for support structures, infill pattern and density [some combinations cause vibrations at resonances that amplify problems]), and settings make the difference, not the brand or the notional "grade" that their price indicates. Very many, probably most of them, are derived from the makerbot style that was in turn derived from reprap.org open-source hardware and software. Here in Sydney, we've found enthusiastic owners who'll collaborate through owner groups, small-scale online vendors (even local ebay sellers) and war or fantasy gamers' groups, and others.
There's also a relatively new DLP printer called Anycubic Photon that's reduced the price access point for very high quality UV-solidifying SLA-style finish to $500 and less. Smallish envelope but because it does layers at one time instead of drawing paths, relatively fast.