The freshness of strings can't be overlooked. I've heard bad things about good strings from some of the best makers in the world, because they were not fresh. Some retailers, to sell at a very low price, will buy strings at closeout prices and stock up. If the strings are old when you buy 'em the brand and price are not gonna help you a bit. On the other hand, if you like the results you get, there's not a thing wrong with a great price. Buying strings that you won't use for 6 months or more is probably a waste of good money. Buying strings that were made 2 years ago and have gone from one warehouse to another then to a retailer, then to a consumer, who buys in bulk for a lower price.... You get the idea. Happens all the time. Use the label from your strings. Write down the day you bought 'em and where, the day you installed 'em and any comments you have about your results. Nothing is worse than trying a new type, loving them and forgetting what they were. Many people find that freshness is the Most important thing. Buy them from a retailer that orders often, put them on right away. You may find the cheapest strings work great when they are not aged before you use them.