It is a good question, “Do people value what they struggle for more (than what they get painlessly)?” Nowadays, most parents buy whatever toy a kid wants, right? So assuming most parents do that, does the kid value that toys more, or a toy bought with allowance?
I know, most of us used to pine after some toy or tool, wishing we had it. And most of us still do. And sometimes we work hard for it, or sometimes we just put it on our birthday list. But to let us say RC hobbyist, is a self-made, time consuming, RC car more valuable to him than a new RC car that he got for Christmas? Or is an RC car parents buy a kid more valuable to him than an RC car he spent weeks or months saving his allowance for? To me, maybe I would think the one that I spent more time on would be more valuable.
Once, my dad had bought me an RC car, and I was really excited about it. Around that time, I had a science project to build an RC car, which took around 100$ and didn’t perform as well as the one my parents brought me. At that time, I still valued the one I made more. Another time is when I took a VERY long time (around a month) to build a radio, of which I could use to tune to different channels. I know, you can just buy one of those electronic kits, and yes, we have one. But it is different when you make it. You have to buy the separate parts, build it, debug, build, and more until it finally works. And of course, you learn a lot during the process.
So I think that people do value more what they struggle for more because I think that then people think, it took me time, and it becomes sort of like your own masterpiece.