I totally recommend the Junkman videos AND Adam's Products...
The swirl-less shine is for your enjoyment only, well, for the most part. As a frequent shower of cars, 90+% of the cars that win are swirled to heck... After competing several years with a perfect finish, I just stopped caring about whether it was swirl-less. I didn't flub my washing methods, but I don't painstakingly buff like I used to, plus I sold the black car that owned me lol.
To answer your question, you don't NEED high dollar stuff, but depending on the conditions in which your car sits will determine the longevity of any wax you use. The cheaper, the shorter time it lasts if it is in direct sunlight (same goes for a pricier wax, but lasts longer).
Thanks for the feedback . . . finally, someone who actually answered my question . . .
To most of the others who responded:
I had hoped it would have been implied from my inquiry, that I had already watched Junkman videos, based on my statement of having read the pertinent threads . . . indicating I was planning on implementing two mit, two bucket, top down wash technique . . . I also was hoping it would be fairly obvious that I was treating and talking about wax, like wax, like Junkman very clearly does, as a protectant, not as a source of polish or shine . . . not sure about claybar . . . I don't know, my eyes aren't all that great, but I don't even know what people are talking about with "swirl" . . . never noticed it before on any car I've ever driven . . . and don't notice it on my new SS . . . can't tell what people are talking about when they post pictures and comparisons, etc. I know my eyes aren't great, and I'll be the first to admit that, so I believe everyone, that I guess it is a "thing", but if it is not a "thing" I notice or care about myself, what's wrong with doing a decent wash following Junkman's instructive washing methods? I surmise they are basically all centered around the concept of not letting the dirt you are trying to wash off, scratch the paint, then simply protecting the paint with a basic wax, like turtle wax, like I've used on all my former cars . . . if all wax is, is a protectant, what difference does it really make which one you use? As the "vaunted" Junkman himself states . . . it is only a protectant, NOT a source of polish or shine . . . My SS is garaged, and my former experience with turtle wax is two coats, gets me a solid 6-9 months of protection . . . depending on mileage, amount of time out and about . . .
As I stated in my post I'm not a detail enthusiast, and particularly don't like the idea of my possessions owning me, and I have it quite the other way around . . .
I guess to be more clear with my main point/conundrum, can I avoid the whole "clay-bar" thing . . . and just wax after I give it a good wash? Like I've done on all my previous cars? If, for whatever reason, I ever sell it, and some detail enthusiast takes it over, wouldn't they be able to let the wax deteriorate or strip it themselves, and do the whole "clay-bar" paint/swirl correction at that point? Or will I have permanently embedded those swirl defects into the car?