"C":"Many just automatically make the argument for American because their is some idea that they are ultimately the cheapest and best performing in the industry right now,"
I'd disagree with that simply because most advocates of the American Funds have been recommending them for years and decades and surely NOT based only on what is happening now in the industry...which would be a very poor reason for making an investment decision.
"C": but I believe that most have just been jaded and have jumped on the American bandwagon."
Again, I'd have to disagree as most advisors have't jumped on their bandwagon at all...in fact most advisors were still high on the AFs and recommending them in the mid late 90s when the AFs didn't keep up with other high flying fund groups.
"C": "I believe that most of these individuals never take a glance to see what else is out there."
I don't know about that as I have experienced many advisors that recommmend fund groups in addition to AFs.
"c": " Plus, with so much $ charging into American funds over the past few years, I can't imagine that I'm the only one worried about what will happen if/when they falter."
Actually this is NOT a problem with AFs as it would be with most other fund groups. The way their management system is set up , having a great deal of assets is not a problem (I suggest you read the book by Charles Ellis call " Capital" a story of long term investment success.)
"c": "They're definitely getting the lion's share of the mutual fund flows, and it all seems to be a bit irrational, i.e. not based on anything concrete, but moreso an abstract idea of who they are."
Not really, they get the lions share simply because of their low expenses, low turnover, management philosophy, risk management, NOT jumping on investment bandwagons, and track record. They simply just perform for a very reasonable cost...what more could one want?
But I do agree that there are other very good fund groups out there and they should be used as well.