I've never tried the pre-cooked stuff nor really had the desire. We live in a heavy pork-raising region so nearly all our pork products are awesome.
I don't buy "name" bacon. Just the bacon our market sells that comes from area hog farmers. It's the REAL thing. Nice and thick and meaty. Tastes sooooo good. There's not as much cook-away from the bacon I buy, which probably makes it more economical. Depending on whether or not the bacon is on sale, I rarely pay more than $4 per pound.
When the bacon is cooked it's still nearly the same size it was when put into the pan and there's not a whole lot of grease left in the pan. We almost had a bacon grease "crisis" here a couple of weeks ago when our stash in the refrigerator got dangerously low.
Can't make respectable cornbread in the South without bacon grease. I certainly wouldn't want the country cooking food police coming after me.