Its best to use your shorts in rotation, so try to have 2-3 on hand. Bibs are also better then shorts as they stay in place better.
I have 5-6 bibs on hand, none are Pearl, and none are too expensive. Some are quite cheap actually. I have found tahat I love the fit of the Pearls but they are poorly made and, as you described, fall apart rather quickly.
I have an Adidas adistar that was about $80 bucks 4 years ago and it is still in good shape.
I have 2 Giordana bibs (favorite) one bought for $60 from Sierra Trading Post and the other from my team. They are great and have worn well.
I have a Descente, a Gore and a DeMarchi that are all pretty good and were all less than $100. The Descente being the best and the cheapest.
I have not liked the Castellis I have used...expensive and poorly made. Assos, Etxe Ondo and some other boutique brands priced between $180-$350 are, too me, insane and poseurish. But if the fit is the only that works for you then that is what you get.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan?
Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.