Have to say I wasn't impressed with the Brooklyn Brewshop kits either. I got the first one as a gift a few years back. Wife bought it at Chapters. Who knows how long it was sitting on the floor - and in what kind of conditions. The beer (Everyday IPA) fermented but it was lacking. Not having learned my lesson, I then did another one of their kits - they had just the recipe kits (no equipment) available at Chapters. That was also meh.
Then I decided might as well step up and go to 5 gal (all the work of brewing for 1gal of beer makes it hard to justify when it's basically the same time to do 5gal). I got in on some homebrew group buys with GRAB. I did also start using a brew kettle, mash tun, chiller, etc but I think the quality of the ingredients really helped make it worthwhile.