Yes, take a look at the chain threads. Here are my main thoughts.
1) Ease of use to put on
the cheapest is the ladder style cable chains. E.g. look at the SCC cheapest chains at $20-$50. These are for the first timers who decide they need to get something when they hear a storm is coming.
They say you can put these on without moving your car, but in practice people are not successful when in a storm on the side of the road. They spend 30minutes+ cursing putting them on, and another 30+ taking them off, and may loosen 100feet down the road and need adjustments, retightening. I've personally loaned and sold my leatherman to guy on the road who couldn't get them off by the time i was ready to go.
Around the $100 and up to $250 range, you get auto-centering auto-tightening. and features where you really don't need to move your car to install and uninstall, as the chain loops around the tire like a W that you hook back closed. (e.g. look at thule CS (this is what I have, which also has a cool removal feature)). However purists will say some of these features are another failure point that may break.
Around the $300 and up to $700 range, is the super posh where it's 1 step to take on and take off with brackets, such as the spykes spider or the thule easyfit, thule k-summit type chains. Really if you need this to put on your chains, it becomes diminishing returns. If you can't put on chains well, you might as well rent a better vehicle/throw on snow tires then buy these expensive chains. Chains wear out, so potentailly getting the cheaper but still premium chain and learning how to throw them on is going to save you money. Buying chains means you;re expecting to be using them regularly, so eventually you;ll figure out how to use them efficiently and get the chains on in 5minutes like they do in all the how-to videos, and it's not needed to take that down to 3minutes by spending an extra $200 or $400 (for only a limited set of uses). Really this is only if you have a specialty vehicle where other chains won't work.
2) Durability and performance
This is a tradeoff. The beefiest chains have all kinds of features for more traction and bits that bite into the ice, and also will not wear and break as easy as they are steel links and not wimpy cables
However, the tradeoff is you don't need this much grip all the time. if it is like tahoe where they put up controls when it's just barely slushy over the asphalt, then you end up going much slower and only at 25mph or less otherwise you shake your car and dental fillings out, while the guys on the smoother cable chains are zipping by at 35mph. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't get the ease of use (1) items without getting (2), so you learn to just relax and go with the flow and maybe drift over into the unscraped areas just to give your chains something to do while you're in the convoy going over the pass-cause tomorrow you're going skiing!
Luckily since it's quicker to get them on and off, it's not as big of an issue. For the guys with cable chains, they throw them on and leave them on the whole weekend even when in town, since it's so hard for them to take them back off, and potentially throw them on again.
Edited by raytseng - 11/7/15 at 10:15pm