The quality of the hardware is not really the focus here. It is the govt of USA that is a bigger problem. USA has been prone to 'mood swings'. Iran is an example. It supported the Iranians during the Shah of Iran's rule (non-democratic btw), but they hate the new Iranian democracy. Why? This democracy does not suit the furthering of US's world conquest ambitions (did I really say that :O).
Their whole concept of 'champions of democracy' is flawed. They love democracy in other countries only because democracy means not a govt controlled economy. Which means that using tools like WTO and FTA, the American companies can invest in these countries and subsequently sap the resources of these countries. If they are such a champion of democracy, why do they recognise China and have huge investments? So this bullet point can be safely ignored or rather held against them.
Second, USA was the country that sent a battle group to the Indian ocean to support the Pakistani govt (controlled by military again) during the 1971 war. How can we trust the same country ever again? USA was the first country to stamp sanctions against India and that resulted in the LCA being delayed due to lack of engine equipment. Do we want to sleep with a serial killer? Their argument to setup factories in India are also to be taken with a pinch of salt. They are talking about assembly factories. NOT manufacturing factories. They will not license their technology to India.
Then there is the you-own-it-all philosophy. I hope the Indian military heads are reading this. The JSF (F-35) has a lot of work delegated to the computers. This is done from software. Now the USA has refused to release the source code to this software to even the closest of its allies. With JSF the americans are telling their partners, give us all your money, we may just give you something to buy. What does this mean? Suppose the americans manage to sell JSF to India in the near future (duh!) then if and when the president of America feels an itch to impose sanctions he could just push a button to disable these fighters. Simply put convert a few hundreds of million dollars of 'lethal' hardware into no more than a pile of scrap. It would then be a costly show-piece. Why am I saying this? We cannot trust the American govt ever!
So what is the way out? The Russians have been our allies for a long time now. Even though its for their own benefit that they do all these, its some good @least that trickles down. Consider the point that we had spares problems with Russian equipment. That was the mistake of the Indians. The beaurocrats have never bothered to think about this. Russians licensed the technology including the blue prints to their fighters. I say just buy one of those companies if you can. Or else set up joint collaborations. S37 (Berkut) could be a wonderful platform. Develop it. LCA can be finished if only our lazy politicians think about the country more than mudslinging and filling up their coffers. LCA can be made a joint venture. Get russian engines or ask them to make one. Russia has @least 3 engine manufacturers. All of them have great engine experience.