If imported bettas are bred in poor conditions, are bettas bred in your home country any better? I guess it depends on where you live. Also, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to purchase a betta from a specialty betta breeder known to have good breeding stock.
I paid $3.99 for a little blue betta who came down with one case after another of fin rot. Not only was it heart-wrenching, but also, expensive! And after he died, I had three other bettas get hit with fin rot: one died of a secondary infection that spread literally overnight (and truthfully, I think he was just worn out) one healed and still battles it occasionally, and the third died of something unrelated. So I spent a small fortune on meds... multiply the cost of Maracyn-2 et al. by at least 5, possibly 8, 9, or 10 treatments. I've lost count.
The betta breeder sites sell more expensive bettas and if you don't live nearby, you have to pay air fees to ship, but in the long run, I wonder if it averages out to equal the cost of treating a sick, weak betta time and time again... and I also wonder how much it would be worth it to an individual's stress level to NOT have to constantly be worrying and treating a sick creature.
But then it comes down to wondering if I can justify tossing down $40 for one betta. DH would be like, 'if we are paying $40 for a fish, its going on the grill!"