You might search for threads where this is discussed in terms of opportunity cots. What you say is true as far as it goes, but the total system costs and benefits is not a simple decision. In particular, look at the costs of not repairing the HI in terms of what other costs are incurred to make up for it. Transport fuel, ship damage, risk of attack to additional transports, etc. Not to mention not having enough HI at the end of the game.
You must be referring to
And others Alfred has participated in, with much better words.
I imagine that the costs/benefits of repairing HI differ dramatically between the Japanese and the Allies.
For instance, the Allies don't need any more HI than they already start the game with in LA, SF, and Seattle (these cities give far more than needed to produce any on-map aircraft throughout the whole war).
Repairing HI is, to me, for the Allies, completely a supply generation issue.
Second...I think this is true...a single xAKL's worth of supply (say, 1750) is 875-day's worth of HI factory supply production. So if you don't repair the factory and send a single xAKL's worth of supply, this would be equal to repairing the factory and producing for 1,375 days!
Let me know when that ship arrives at Chungking, OK?
(And, frankly, I treat xAKLs as disposable units and don't bat an eyelash when one of my unescorted xAKL get sunk). Plus, instead of getting 2 supply points dripping out each day which might not make a difference, if you didn't repair the factory you'd have 1,000 supply points to use from day one (and then the 1,750 you'd get when the xAKL arrived). That might be helpful.
You are being too geographically lazy.
Of course, the issue of repairing factories in China (when cut off from ports) is somewhat different.
To say the least. The decision to repair/not repair in China can significantly affect 1943 there. If the Allied player intends to abandon China, or pull far, far back then the decision is different again. I just tire of these threads where people say "Always . . ." In AE there is no always, except it always depends.