You will notice NO performance difference between a mid-priced and a high priced barrel. I own and use a DYE Ultralight, a Lapco Bigshot, and a J&J ceramic. There is no noticeable difference between them from a performance standpoint. There is definitely not a $50-60 difference. Get a mid priced barrel. You won't regret it. I really like Lapco barrels, and have heard nothing but good things about CP too. J&J barrels are also decent.
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."