I wear an 80 dollar HJC. 6 moths later the paint has minor pealing.... Will it protect my head? You bet your ass it will. I think for the most part you pay for ergonomics and paint. If it is DOT approved you are good to go.
If it "helps" keeping from splattering your brains on the pavement it's a good helmet.
IF IT IS DOT approved.... it is good to go.