Quality of the wood is key to the quality of the Bat.
English willow mostly / always is better than Kashmir = cost more
Nearer the centre of the tree the wider the grains = older wood = cheaper = 4-6 grains on the face
Nearer the outside of the tree the narrower the grains 10+ is good, 15+ is reserved for sponsored pro's only.
Uniform colour of grain and no knots on the face also pulls the premium badge / price
And its quite true that small grains tend to be more susceptible to damage so the more expensive bats don't last as long - assuming equal pressing.
In general, you get what you pay for, but if you can't handle the performance of a Porche or Ferrari don't buy one.