If the next guy says he can kill just as many birds with an inexpensive call as a higher end one, I'm not going to argue with him. Maybe he's pegged out within the call's capabilities, or maybe he's found an inexpensive alternative I've missed or knows how to get more out of one than I do.
But I certainly don't believe my hunters would kill as many ducks over any of the less expensive calls I've used in the past as they do over the more expensive and more versatile ones I now use. I do not believe there's much, if any, difference in those calls' effectiveness, much less a significant one, most days. On other days, however, the greater ranges afforded by truly higher end calls can shine in hands that know how to apply them - which a beginner will not.
Especially this close to the season, and if money's an issue, I'd advise beginning with one of the better inexpensive calls that make it relatively easy to sound enough like a duck that you'll have the confidence to use it freely enough to begin learning the tactical, when to do what, part of the game that's much more important than mastering the nuances of tone.
Then, if you decide you want to advance the technical side of your game to its utmost, you can experiment with other calls and work on that between seasons.
If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.