Well, Gouda is a Dutch cheese, so it's got to be pretty good in order for it to be acceptable for customers there. So an imported cheese, even on the lower end, is going to be good, usually.
Europe also has stricter standards and takes great pride in their dairy products.
In any case, artisan-made cheese is going to be better than mass-produced cheese, whether its American made or otherwise. There's just more care put into it and the quality of ingredients tends to be better. There's no comparison between a supermarket cheddar and a higher-end one.