I'd say this: gear is what you pay for, but don't forget to ask yourself much you are going to use it.
One of the greatest gear experiences I've had was using a high-end pair of waders (same pair) since 2006. No problems as compared to a friend who went the cheap end and went through two pairs in one Winter/Spring session. This winter I found part of the inner wader failing, sent them in, and was sent back an entirely new pair of current model waders.
That being said, I used and abused my waders (besides proper care and maintenance ) since '06. I don't think a cheaper pair would have held up to the task.
IMO, having a good pair of waders w/ a good warranty is pretty hard to beat. Yes the price might be higher, but cut out a few coffee or fast food stops and it starts looking doable. Watch for end-of-the-year sales at local fly shops, and the internet is full of sites getting rid of waders daily.
I'd love to answer your second question; but I've forgotten how much I paid back then