I think there tends to be here an over-emphasis on rare and expensive items and I'd like to see more discussion on everyday bourbons. There are a number of reasons for this: first and foremost, the actual quality difference between a high-end and low-end bourbon is quite small. True, the high end usually is "better" but the amount of improvement is usually very small in relation to the price difference. Second, not everyone can buy or source expensive brands.
And I say this as someone who can buy (more or less) what I want. Just the other day I bought an Old Overholt for 15 dollars and a no-longer-available Van Winkle rye 12 year old for 25 dollars and they will give me more pleasure than, say Classic Cask rye, Birthday Bourbon, Stagg and many other expensive whiskies because they are better value for money but also arguably better whiskeys ounce for ounce. Older and stronger are not always better for example and I am tiring of a tannic edge on a lot of the old whiskey that's out there.
So e.g. Jeff's choice of a price brand as BOTM was an excellent one. As it happens, Old Fitzgerald is one of the few price brands I don't like. But I discovered that only after trying it and I bought it before knowing it was August's BOTM. But I like Ten High, Barton's brands (almost all of them), the Heaven Hill-branded whiskeys, many of the smaller labels in bonded form, Beam Black, all the 4 year old ryes out there, many of the American blendeds out there (especially Barton's brands) and much else that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I love rock and rye which is very versatile. In fact when you factor in that to make most cocktails it doesn't matter what straight whiskey is used, the emphasis on the high end brands seems a little contrived and marketing (as always) can work its magic on those here no less than any other kind of consumer.
The only part about the whiskey renaissance I don't like is the tendency to focus on high end brands to the exclusion of the solid middle and even lower shelf. That may create a situation where producers put out very old tannic whiskeys on the one hand and a slew of poor quality lower-shelvers on the other hand. I hope that never happens but auguries are not good, methinks..