Because I don't have a planer, and don't want to spend megabucks on furniture-grade hardwood for my learner projects, I have to spend a considerable amount of time picking through pieces, whether dimensional construction lumber or squared project pieces, checking the grain to find those pieces cut near the middle, but not directly through the core. And then of course checking that it's not otherwise too warped or twisted. See
 The exception may be the poplar and oak project boards, but they're so expensive at the big box stores I don't even bother looking. I think poplar is pretty stable so they're probably flat sawn, too.
I've done a little woodworking, but it's enough to realize that wood is complicated and tricky and there are definitely pros & cons to the various cuts. I'm sure if they could get more high quality cuts from a given log they would - it is more valuable down stream.