Yes, they can be quite spendy but investing in a good leg wear can last you more than just this season. Some of the best brands out there are Wolfords, Oroblu, and House of Holland. They run anywhere from $35 to $55 on average. However, having been addicted to leg wear from these brands for the last three years, I still own a lot of them today (with good care, of course).
House of Holland...
Another pretty good European brand is: Oroblu
Oroblu can be fun. They have great patterns and fit very comfortably. You can purchase these at an affordable price, between $18 - $35. Nordstrom has a pretty good selection of Oroblu (and Wolfords) but each store carries different inventories.
You also have the choice of Falke:
Here are a couple of good places where you can purchase some of these brands online:
So I've actually had to throw away brand new leg wear because I snagged them on my nails, as I pulled them on. What can you do to prevent these? Hosiery Gloves of course!
They are silky and will help prevent snags, rips, and runs on your new investment. The ones above are by Wolfords and you can buy them at Net-a-Porter.com. Nordstrom also carries their own brand and a little bit cheaper than Wolfords. However, it is not available online so visit the store there is one in your neck of the woods.