can buy a FULL Drexel set (approx. 50 years old) for $100. its nice, but a bit dated looking.
the Stanley is newer/more modern but a bit more expensive.
which is the better quality set?
Traditionally Drexel has always been considered to be a higher quality (and higher priced) line for comparable items.
Drexel furniture from 50 years ago was made better than it is today. (The exception is that Drexel also made contract furniture for hotels and government that was lesser quality but most of that was not full sets.)
For used furniture price will depend primarily on the condition of the pieces so it is possible that a used Stanley set in better shape could sell for more than Drexel.
If you are capable of refinishing the furniture you should definitely go for the Drexel.
A number of years ago, maybe 8 or 10, Stanley sent their manufacturing offshore. They really did not have a good handle on QA and I saw a lot of junk come through with them. I worked on a table once that was missing finish on one whole apron end. How did that ever pass QA?
I think they brought at least some of it back onshore.
I also did work for the local Drexel Heritage store and while upscale in price, the quality was typical of Chinese imports.
I'd go with the older Drexel, if I had a choice, even if I had to refinish it.
FYI... For those interested in the quality and value of older Drexel furniture, there is a good bit of it coming up for auction in Wallace, NC on August 2, 2014.
Here is a link that might be useful: Drexel Furniture - Aug. 2 Auction by Brown & Thigpen Auctions, LLC
Interesting--in the old days, you could get Stanley furniture on Green Stamps. I can't imagine it got a lot better after they went off shore.