As a full time student with a part-time, I usually have 70-80 bucks a week or so that I can spend on whatever (the rest goes to savings for tech school). I really cant afford any of the expensive stuff that you can get online, so I experiment with the easy to get stuff such as Meg's, Turtle Wax, and Mothers.
I have read alot about Meg's, and my auto teacher likes turtle wax. I have used both, but I prefer Mothers..possibly because my mothers 3 stage uses carnauba wax. Meg's usually gives a good shine, but everytime I use it I get streaks/lines in the paint.
Talking to my auto teacher at school, he said something like the first thing you do will make the car look 90% better, and the rest is just the last 10%. There is some truth to that, as washing your car makes it looks worlds better if its dirty, and waxing only makes it look a little better (or more depending on the situation). I get a good shine from Mothers, and the expense to me isnt worth it for an expensive wax that will only make my car look marginally better.
As others have said, its all preference really. Nobody can tell you what is best, you just have to put in the time and find the right combination that you like.