Yep, you're paying for aesthetics, quality and even customer service - particularly if you order from one of the TPT forum sponsors.
For me, personally, I want something that looks clean, modern and pristine if I've got a show tank in a living space. I usually go with ADA or Mr. Aqua (for the cheap, long 12gal) for small tanks. There's a world of difference in appearance when it comes to showing off what you love.
For a standard tank rank in my fish room that not everybody sees and that my other half doesn't have to look at all day long? $1 per gallon rimmed tanks all the way, hands-down.