If I can step in for a second, I think Les was saying that PRS has several separate kinds of tuners that they put on their instruments, at various price points. The "cheaper" tuners go on the entry level guitars. The locking tuners typically are designed to hold their tune better than the cheaper tuners.
What we each may prefer is a tuner that works properly, and one that doesn't work well might need swapping out. I think Les was saying that core or PS guitars that typically have higher quality components to HIM, sound and feel better.
We each may have our own levels of comfort, but truthfully, neither touting core nor imported is right or wrong. Some of us are just stating we prefer higher quality part and build quality.
This is exactly what I've been saying, only you put it better, CP.
As to the USA models' tuning machines, folks might be surprised that the PRS Core tuners are made for them by Gotoh (if memory serves). They're not US parts. They're just very good parts. The tuners that came on my PS acoustic were sourced from Robson in the UK. They're also very good parts.
I want to talk about tiny details and parts for a moment.
I've had a series of McCartys going back to around 2001 or so (I was mostly a CU22 buyer before that). One problem I occasionally had with each of them was a certain amount of what I call 'plink' with certain notes, whether plugged or unplugged. These guitars also had the older Vintage tuners. It wasn't a deal-breaker, I loved them, and they did well for me on lots of projects.
In 2017, I had two WL McCartys that had the Paul's Guitar bridge, with brass inserts in the aluminum stop tail and Phase III lockers. One had a mahogany neck, the other maple. For whatever reason - this may just have been sheer luck, of course - the 'plink' was gone and the tone was extremely solid from the fundamental through the harmonic series on both guitars.
Coincidence? Maybe. It was a small sample size. Nonetheless it was audible. My feeling was that a few tiny changes added up to making them sound better.