I've been searching for this for about three years now, talking to distributors, looking through catalogs and web sites, and looking at equipment. Like you, I'd be willing to pay a substantial price for it. AFAICT, there are none. That is, there are no 3.5mm jacks that are anywhere close in quality to what you can easily get in a 1/4" jack.
For instance, neither Switchcraft, Neutrik, nor Rean make a 3.5mm stereo jack. (Switchcraft claims to, but based on the technical drawings and samples I've received it looks like they actually buy bottom-of-the-line Taiwanese product and reship it; don't bother.) Schurter, of all people, make a 3.5mm jack that looks like the Rean stuff; but it is not dimensionally compatible with a 3.5mm stereo plug, it's for some different sort of plug that I've never encountered.
If you must use 3.5mm, then your best bet is probably something like the Kobiconn fully-enclosed jacks with threaded bushing, as exemplified by Mouser part # 161-3500. Of all the jacks I've tried, these seem to have the best construction, best manufacturing consistency, and the most solid contacts. Interestingly, it seems like the manufacturer name changes every time a new catalog comes out, but the construction style, technical drawings, etc. remain exactly the same - at Mouser, even the part number remains the same.
By the way, if you possibly can, use something with a threaded bushing. I can't tell you how much gear I've fixed that was mechanically secured only by the solder joints, meaning that after a couple of years of plugs being pushed in and pulled out, the solder joint cracks and the equipment becomes intermittent. It is very important to mechanically secure the jack in a way that does not transfer stress to the electrical connections.