Dear Robert Cote,
I recently purchased a second-hand 8-strings Orfea guitar (google it, since commercial links are not allowed here). The lutherie is made in China, but the brand is a german one, with high standards of quality. I plan to post a dedicated thread about it, when I will be able to post pictures (the most complicated part of the job for me...)
Well, I'm very impressed by the quality of this low-priced instrument. It's a bit on the heavy side (the truss-rod might explain that) but it is in no way "overbuilt"; the intonation is perfect, every note rings just like it should (with no over-sustained basses), and the ebony tuners work perfectly.
The big plus : the saddle features muliple holes, and the nut multiple slots, so you can string it as a seven string, or as any 8-strings tuning you might choose, be it Brahms or not.
I tune it B-D-E-A-D-F#-B-E, just like an 8 course lute in E would be tuned, because I play mostly renaissance and baroque repertoire.
Hope this will help.