Not "true to an extent"; just 'true.'
Read my post carefully. I never suggested that paint cares how much you paid for it, or what name is on the label, nor did I suggest buying the most expensive paint. I specifically emphasized quality, not money.
We don't disagree in any respect.
A free bag of fresh, well-kept Marbs is less expensive than a case of whatever Walmart is stocking, but rest assured in that case I'm going with what is cheapest.
And it is true that in many cases, some of the 'mid-grade' stuff is nice and round and consistent, has good fill and good shell, and works just dandy. In that case, paying a bunch extra for tourney grade is silly.
But there is a learning curve involved that requires some basic knowledge of brands, grades, and fills, and the willingness to pay out for the good stuff, or at least, the better stuff when the situation warrants. There is also the matter of what is available at a given place, and how it has been stored. I've played fields where the best they had was garbage, and the worst was execrable. But in that case I still bought the best garbage they had.
There is also the matter of working with people you can trust, and who can give you advice. A good field will stock good paint, and store it well, because they want people to enjoy playing there. And a good place will want to earn your business, and usually the folk there are willing to tell you what is shooting nicely, and what isn't, even if the more expensive stuff is on the low end, or is only negligibly better.
But as the OP specifically reference big box stores, all the above is to say this: I simply don't know the quality of their paint, and neither does anyone else. And that is the problem.
If I'm laying down money, I want to know exactly what I'm getting. How long has that box been sitting there? How many kids in the stock room played soccer with it, or flung it on and off the pallets?
There's also another consideration: It's little skin off Walmart's back if I don't buy their paint.
My local field is another matter. They are providing me not only with a place to play, and refs, and air, and all that, but also a good product of a known quality, together with advice. And it certainly is skin off their back if I don't buy my paint from them.
They need me, and I need them. The more I help them, the more successful they can be. And the more successful they are, the better they can make my day of play. And the better my day of play, the more likely I am to continue supporting them, and encouraging others to do so. Our field is constantly building and upgrading, and they don't have the luxury of forced elf labor. We, the players, support them.
Now, of course, some folk don't have local fields, and they need to get paint. But then at least go with a reputable online paintball dealer, so that you will get a known product, and certainly more bang for the buck than a box store.
On the flip side of this, but in the same vein, there are fields who peddle garbage because they think they are giving a better 'value' to their players. That kind of thinking should be corrected, not supported.
At some point, when people stop supporting quality, they will stop getting it. And when they keep supporting garbage, they will keep getting it. Companies keep cranking out bad stuff, and ignorant/careless merchants keep peddling it, because people keep buying it. Someone at least should make the case for taking the higher, harder path.
So make like a honey badger, and buy the best paint you can get.
Err . . . yeah.
Rant over for now.