Was at Rebel sport during my lunch break today, taking a look at the bats, (not that I would ever shop somewhere like Rebel sport for a cricket bat) and I was absolutely shocked at the cheap prices and quality of the grains on the lower grade bats.
Some of the bats in the 100-200 bracket had 8+ straight grains and amazing pick ups, absolutely massive, but feel feather light.
They bloody ping well too, a guy who I play with has some bottom of the range A41 or what ever Gray nics bat and the ball absolutely flys off that thing.
The only downside I can see is how fast they seem to break, the wood itself feels entirely different, really really dry and prone to surface cracking, and from memory you're advised to not oil them at all.
And here I was thinking bats were getting more and more expensive.... I couldn't have been more wrong