As someone who does a lot of typing and own a lot of keyboards both membrane and mechanical, here's my thoughts on the memeyness of mechanical keyboards.
This is the most autistic part about mechanical switches, but it's not the biggest meme in it. some people type like a grandma using sugar-glass keycaps. Me? I don't, I bottom out my keycaps most of the time. Based on what I felt from a 12-key switch sample, the only real difference I felt was with either clicky switches or speed silver, everything else was not much different.
The meme-part of actuation comes when you compare linear vs tactile. the difference between both is that tactile has a slight resistance when you start pushing on it, and linear doesn't. With linears, you also don't feel when the keyboard's switch actuates. Some people notice it, but I don't when typing normally, and I feel like that's a big meme among switch types.
With the clicky switches, you get the full sensory experience when you hit the key, that is both the best and worst thing about it. I like clicky, so therefore, my favorite color switch is blue.
The only other mechanical keyswitch I have tried is the classic buckling spring. Believe it or not, the original makers of the IBM keyboards are still making and selling keyboards : https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/SFNT The problem I have with mine? the machines used to make it are old as fuck and the result is a bunch quirks with the keyboard itself - in the winter (up north so anywhere from 30F to far below it), I had some keys that either had ghosting issues or wouldn't respond, but were fine when they warmed up.
As for the actuation force of the buckling spring, after using a logitech g710+ for a year, going back to my USB model M is actually a LOT heavier than the brown switches.
Whomever says mechanical switches are quiet is retarded as fuck. Noise among switches is a meme.
All tactile and linear switches are louder than membranes. The only exceptions are for the silent-linears (red/black). comparing the cherry silent red/black to a few membrane keyboards I got, they're actually noticeably more quiet. However most keyboards don't have silent switches, and if they do you pay premium for it.
If you're like me, and you actually like a noisy keyboard? Anything that isn't blue, green, or white just feels mute and generic to use.
If you want a quiet keyboard that's not expensive, stick with membranes. Red or black silent is the way to go if you want to make your own awesome, silent mechanical keyboard.
>Linear vs tactile for gaming
It's a goddamn meme, plain and simple.
>low profile switches
Kailh's low-profile switches are a meme, cherry low profile is even shorter than them. But if you want to look at inspiration for mechanical key design, look up old arcade machine hardware.
>Building and Manufacturing Hardware
If you want to make your own keyboard, there are a lot of tutorials and builds to look up. Keep in mind, unless you got a 3D printer, things can get expensive fast. Like at minimum, three times more expensive for one keyboard. If you want to save money, try to hand-wire your boards, use 3D-printed parts from a local source and such. Hot-swapping is neat if you want that enabled, but in practice, it's not good for boards that are meant to be portable, as the keyswitches can be kicked out of their sockets.
If you can get into CNC, machining, and laser-cutting, you have all the resources to make your awesome, chunky metal keyboard.
The only other problem you will have with making a business out of quality hardware, is a few things:
So-Five-Seconds-Ago Syndrome is one-part corporate obligation to keep their employees employed, and one-part greed to screw 'muppets' (read, normal people with real lives) out of their money. It's like a family with a domestic abuser - one asshole is doing it to get power, and the rest are doing it so they don't get hurt by that asshole in power.
I would feel like your best way to start is to create and engineer artisan hardware- stuff that is expensive, but has the support and durability to keep lasting for years and can keep up with the flow of technology.
Actuation shit is autistic semantics that don't matter to anyone but people who barely touch their keys when they type.
Noise on non-clicky switches is a meme, If you hate noise go either cherry silent, or just use a membrane keyboard.
If you like noise, go blue or go home, other clicky switches are just switch-weight-autism, and all other switches are mute trash.