There's a variety of canning jars out there by different names -- Ball, Kerr, Mason, Atlas-Mason and others -- and each is a little different from the other. I agree that manufacturing quality has improved over the years to allow for a higher quality jar. Most of the companies today are all under one name....Jarden Corporation, (http://www.jardenbrandedconsumables.com/jarden-home-brands.php).
The Atlas-Mason jars come from Classico products and aren't really supposed to be reused, but everyone does, but I would recommend only using for Boiling Water recipes and not pressure canning. The same goes for those mayonnaise jars. The glass is thin on those and there is a danger of exploding jars if there is a temperature shock when processing and/or lifting them out.
Canning jars should last for many many years. Just always check for cracks and chips, especially on the rim, and toss if you find anything or use for something other than canning. The only thing 'new' you will ever need are the flats and some people are getting a good supply of them now in case there is a shortage in the near future. That actually occurred once in 1974. Only a limited number of rings are needed since they are used only for processing and then are removed and no longer needed.