Every product category has several price points, and at each one you get an improvement in some factor: quality, design, useability, durability, prestige, etc.
Few of us have the budget to enjoy the best of everything. Instead, we pick and choose, sacrificing here to indulge there. Ramen noodles for dinner in exchange for expensive coffee in the morning.
I find I'm seldom disappointed in buying the higher quality product, and they have a lower cost of ownership over their useful lives than cheap things. The hard part is determining what items will really be of value to me long-term.
One yardstick is good design. I find that companies that put a lot of thought and effort into good design of the product and packaging have probably put the same thought and effort into everything. The odds of it being worth the cost go way up.
In a crowded market you have to eliminate options quickly. I start by pushing the ugly choices off the menu.