In category theory, a subobject of object $A$ is defined to be an equivalence class of isomorphic monomorphisms into $A$. Does this seem weird to anyone else? Isn't it normal to allow something to be only defined "up to isomorphism"? Sure, we could define a product to be the equivalence class of objects satisfying the universal property, but then it wouldn't live in our category. And it may well be a proper class. No one defines limits this way, why do we do this for subobjects and quotient objects?
If we just defined a subobject of $A$ to be a monomorphism into $A$, then the class of subobjects of $A$ would only be a preorder, instead of a poset. So what?