You'll never be sorry for buying the best you find and can afford, and certainly stay with 1/2" shanks. Just my opinion of course.
There is some pride in having good tools, I don't know how to put a dollar value on it, but to me it is real, maybe it's just me. I have better tools than I have skills, but as I'm learning, the value of the better tools become more and more evident.
When cost is a factor and often it is, mid range tools will work just fine I'm sure, guess it just depends on the individual. I do agree that going real cheap usually end up being the most expensive as you end up buying higher priced tools when the chaap ones fail you.
I went that route years ago with a couple of cheap routers.