This is my two cents on the matter. I don't know if I necessarily agree that that low buck light bars are on par with the name brand bars, but mostly that's a matter of opinion. That said if you're thinking about buying one, I'd get the question out of the way, are you buying it for the cool factor or are you buying it because you're need a light to perform when you're off roading at night.
From what I've observed and learned in my research (last year I was thinking of getting a 40" to put on my Gobi) there is a difference in the components used in the lights (LED's, circuit boards, processors, etc.), their construction (lens that I speak to) and optics. To a lesser extent there is country of manufacture, warranty, or even the company selling marketing the lights.
Many companies market their lights as using Cree LED's since it's a globally recognized name, but not all Cree LED's are equal as there hundreds, if not thousands of different Cree LED models of varying degrees of size, quality, brightness. Most, if not all the import light bars are very vague on the what Cree LED's are being used in their products as is Rigid, but if Rigid's defense they're the most heavily counterfeited lighting product out there so I can see why they're vague. From what I can tell, the higher end companies use either CREE XM-L2 T6 Bin LED or CREE XP-G2 LED in their light bars. I know Baja Designs uses these and if what I've read is accurate so does Rigid (someone somewhere was able to pry some information out of someone at Rigid since they are known to be notoriously secretive).
With regards to lenses, you want to stay away from any lights that use a tempered glass lens and only look for something with a polycarbonate lens as it'll resist cracking and shattering.
Aside from the quality of the LED's the optics which dictate the beam pattern of a light are probably the single most important thing that will impact the projection of light. If you're looking for a lighting product to really use as intended, this in my opinion is the single most important factor to consider when trying to decide on a light. In narrower the beam pattern the greater the distance the light should project. The wider the pattern, the shorter the distance. That's kind of an over simplification, but you should get the idea. The narrower the pattern the longer the light throw and less likely you're going to over drive the light (unless you're driving baja fast). The wider the pattern the shorter the throw and you're more likely to over drive the the light.
The image below should give you an idea of what types of lights to place where, not to push a brand.
As for country of manufacture those lines are so blurred that it isn't as relevant as it once was. The only LED product that I know for fact is 100% made in the US with 100% US sourced components is Baja Designs. Rigid, if I understand correctly is made in the US with components sourced from foreign and domestic sources. VisionX, kick ass lights, made in Korea. As for any of the Chinese imports, like anything it's hit or miss. Not all Chinese factories pump out the same quality products. My advice, if something is stupidly cheap, there is a reason for it being so and maybe steer clear of it. Just my 2 cents based on a long history of rolling the dice and getting burned 100% of the time.
The warranty a company provides is only as good as the company standing behind it. Many companies are slapping lifetime warranties on their lighting products, if that is a concern for your, read through the fine print and ask questions with company representative. Again, if it's a concern, buy from a company that will stand behind the product in the event you do have a problem, you don't want to be left with an expensive paper weight.
Sorry for being so wordy but hopefully I was able to provide some useful information for you to think about in your decision making process.