Does anyone really ever have many problems with flash drives? I've used about every brand you can think of and I have never had any problems with any of them.
Any premium you pay is probably marketing bull**** or some novelty factor (shiny gold, doubles as a bottle opener, vibrates, grates cheese, etc.)
No. I've have a ton of usb thumb drives I've gotten free at conferences or picked up over the years and I've never had a problem with any of them. I've used them for things like OS installs, Live Keys, and presentation transfers. Then only time I'd actually bother to pay more for 'quality' is if I was looking for a 32-64GB stick. Anything smaller is dirt cheap and doesn't hold enough for R/W speeds to really matter at the end of the day.