There are people on this forum who bash flows, and there are people who swear by them. I've had Flows on one board and Burton Customs on another board, and I didn't find any difference that you could attribute to the tech. Flows are great for getting into quickly when you come off the lift. I can come off the Mystery chair, kick my back foot in, click it shut, and glide right by all the ppl sitting down strapping into their traditional bindings. On the other hand, Flows are a total PITA to put on in deep powder or when you're standing on a significant slope.
Cinch bindings are IMO a better design than Flows, but the Cinch's I owned felt heavy and unresponsive. They were the bottom-of-the-line model though.
Generally speaking you pay more for better quality. Burton has a reputation for charging more for the same level of quality than another brand would. Don't know how true that is. But past a certain point, you probably can't tell the difference unless you're semi-pro.
Right now the shops around here are putting out their uncleared previous-season stuff on clearance sales (I just bought a Special Blend jacket yesterday for way cheap). If you can find clearance sales, that's the way to go -- get more bang for your buck with last year's model.
In retrospect, "Let's get the goat drunk"
should have been my cue to leave the party.