That is true. My main motivation for buying Farsports five years ago was price. I got 50mm rims, cxrays, and DT Swiss 350s hubs for under $600 shipped. Equivalent wheels were 3x the price so I was willing to live with the international shipping and hard to collect on warranty.
the DT ratchet mech 18t is no big deal. It can be nearly silent and there are very very few situations where you can tell the difference between the 18t and 54t.
Pillar spokes are fine. I use them on my wheels. The finish isn’t as nice as DT or Sapim, but that’s the only downside.
Hookless is a non issue. Gets way too much airtime.
ICAN quality: these off-brand rims are OVER built. The ICAN rims are fine. You’re just going to smash it into things off-road.
Get someone with a DT hub so you can swap cassette between multiple wheels easily.