MY field has empire HEAT and it has been a pleasant surprise
"Even now in Heaven there are Angels carrying savage weapons."
"Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel?" BALLERS INC DESTROYED MY ANGEL
I bought Valken Fate for $40 and loved it. I wouldn't feel bad using it in a lower level tourney. I'd step it up for something serious though, but I think it is great for rec-ball, practice, and lower tourneys.
It goes bad fast though if not left in good conditions. First time I bought it, the first day was great. 2 weeks later it shot like crap. I bought another case recently and I'm storing it very carefully to see how it shots now.
go by what your shops sell the fastest; i shoot valken paint all the time since its always new cases of paint and the quality is great from all their brands. overall brands to look for would be draxxus or valken imo
even though a case of say marbs (i know its not in your price range, but this is just for an example) is much nicer then say the fate line. a new case of fate will be better then a case of marbs thats been in your pro shop for 9 months
Premium when you can find it for that price is generally the consistently best that I've seen. Some of the others are EXTREMELY hit and miss. But more and more Premium is sold for a bit of a, well, premium.