To add my own rationalizing to the Zen vs BB debate - I bought Zen because they were cheaper AND higher quality, not just because they're higher quality.
And let me explain by what I think higher quality means here: I mean that the tolerance precision is better, as proven in a video by the Zen people. What does that mean? To me (with some materials engineering background) it suggests more care is given to the production of Zen which would prolong the life so that the chipping/flaking of the coating on the magnets lasts longer. For a bunch of spheres constantly smashing into each other and rubbing, any imperfections (and they are bound to exist or be created eventually anyway) to the surface would be a stress concentrator where a potential fracture in the coating (flaking) could start. I see the benefit in high precision greatly prolonging the life of the magnets. (Another tip would be try not to let them "smash" into each other that much.)
But, that is all just implied/intuitive to me (granted, with a background more suited than most for this type of judgment) and it is does not guarantee anything.
Another reason I like Zen is that they appear to run their business the way I would like the businesses I deal with to be run - with a mind for profit, but a higher value on customer long term satisfaction. Of course, satisfaction is not the only result of good intentions - maybe the work put into the Zen magnets is misplaced and makes no improvement in satisfaction. But I want the business to at least TRY to have my interests in mind when they're making these decisions, not JUST profits. If they don't me as the consumer in their interests, it obviously becomes in their best interest to make their profits AT MY LOSS. The most profitable business would be to sell someone something that is free (or close to) AND have them keep returning to buy a new one because the old one stopped working. (Like how phone companies work, basically.)
The people saying "oh we buy everything from scummy people in the US" are missing the point. Just because things are done a certain way doesn't mean that's the best way to do it and it's not an excuse. By the same logic I could say "oh people [something bad] all the time, there's no reason I shouldn't."
Fortunately, unlike the many ways people inconvenience other people using the above logic, today the hilarious part of that response, followed by "in for 3!" is that in my eyes you're the one losing - you're buying the Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)er product for more money. The only way that's really hurting me is by giving money to some Jack Frost who will no doubt use it to continue being a Jack Frost.
Of course, if stupidity like that continues to be an acceptable way to act, we eventually get huge corporations that everyone hates yet everyone has to pay them to get the services they want because they have formed a monopoly. (Again, phone companies.)
There is one possible saving grace for BB's that would make me possibly buy them - if it's true they'll replace them for free (with shipping, amazon-style) if they begin chipping. I don't see this "lifetime guarantee" for either BB or Zen anywhere on the sites but I saw someone mention it in the comments. If there was a lifetime guarantee, it might be worth it to go a little more expensive, because after a few years I imagine even the Zen ones will flake. (I have a lot of old Nb magnets, it's a very brittle material so the coatings have a hard time.)
But I really don't have to think about it - Zen offers a lower quality magnet they say are still 33% higher tolerance than BB for =====LESS than even the deal on Woot for BBs=====. It's really Scroogeic to buy the BBs unless the Neoballs run out.
Now lets see how long it takes for someone to post TL;DR.