OK, I’m not the most subjective person on the topic, but here’s my two cents: What you usually pay for with an expensive haircut is a stylist’s experience. I can’t cut a straighter line than anyone else, but my haircuts are influenced by nearly 14 years in the business, traveling around the world and developing my approach to hair. All hairstylists gain different experiences along the way, so it just depends on what you’re looking for.
If you do get a pricey cut that you love, you can always see that senior stylist twice a year for your cut, and ask him or her to recommend you to a junior stylist in the salon to keep up the shape in between. This will help out a lot with the cost!