Not going to be much help on the price but on performance thats another matter. Right now for the money nothing beats cuddeybacks new IR camera for $219.00. If you want quality pictures and fast trigger speed, and believe me that makes all the difference between getting it and not.
There is no question that the performance of a Cuddeback is hard to beat. Some people need and insist on quality trail cam photos -- and a Cuddeback is a good buy. Other people only need pictures that are "good enough." If "good enough" is good enough, a Moultrie will probably fill the bill.
Some people place trail cams where they can't control who goes on the land and they are very vulnerable to theft. In most places where I put out a camera, I would not put one out that cost much more than $100. If that's true for you, get a Moultrie and you're putting less than $100 at risk.
As far as trigger speed goes, I haven't had any problems with the Moultrie D40. You will miss pictures if you place the camera perpendicular to a trail, but if you angle it toward the trail you shouldn't have any problem. (An empty picture doesn't mean you missed a photo; it might mean a bird flew by.)
Yes, there is a whole range of performance levels in trail cams, and I would not try to convince anyone that a Moultrie is in the same class as a Cuddeback. Thre is little debate that Cuddeback makes some the very best. But it's like buying a pair of boots. For some purposes (like a sheep hunt) you want something like top of the line Danners; for others (like sitting at a bear bait) rubber WalMart boots will do the job.
That is the reason for the wide variety of quality levels in every manufactured product you see in the marketplace. All anyone can do is get the best he can for the money he wants to spend.