Honestly, there aren't too many brands I'd advise writing off completely. Even some of the manufacturers that have a lot of misses have some hits as well. Maybe Gurkha is one I'd avoid, but hell, they probably have some decent cigars too, and I just haven't found them yet. If you see something that interests you, look it up and see if it's available at more than one retailer, or if it has people not affiliated with retailers recommending it, etc. Aside from some of the bottom-shelf discount sticks that are barely even trying, most of the premium, handmade cigars out there are at least decent in quality. Everything else is a matter of taste, mostly.
Gurkha... ugh too many bad memories of their sticks. I should have known there was something wrong when it seemed like Thompson Cigars was practically giving away bundles of them lol.
Plus they go way over the top with branding and designs... sort of a red flag.