Okay, here's a question. My set up is pretty alright with one glaring exception.
You're more my riding style so you're probably the best person to ask. What boots do you wear that weren't super high end pricing?
Boots are very, very individual preference. None of what I say about my boots will matter to you. I can only help you with quality.
I use Burton Hails, but they are very soft. Took a few sessions for me to get used to that, but now I find them ultra comfortable.
Price means little when it comes to boots. In fact, typically the higher the price, the stiffer the boot. This is why those expensive double boa boots are always super stiff. You really have to set aside a good couple hours to try on multiple boots in the store.
Best way is to try a pair on and if you find them comfy, walk around with them on in the store as you shop. See how it feels after that.
You want your boot to be snug out of the box. If they are super comfortable out of box, they will likely end up too loose after packing out. All boots will pack out (become looser) after a few sessions. Boot liners will also conform to your feet as you ride from the heat. This is why used boots is a no-no.
The ideal thing to do when starting out is to match the flex of your board, binding, and boots. So if it's a mid-flex board, get bindings and boots that are also around mid flex. Later on, you'll find your own optimal mix.