"What really makes one shotgun better than the next?"
Weight, balance, reliability, ability to shoot different loads, chamber, type (semi, pump, OU etc) choke selection, fit and cosmetics are some I can think of off the top of my head.
I have owned shotguns that ranged from $80 to $2000 in purchase price new. My favorite by far is my Remington SP-10, my most hated was a Winchester SX3 even though it fit the best. It all boils down to personal preference and while my pumps get the job done, I do enjoy my autos so much more.
To each his own and nothing wrong with a good shotgun.
Do you know Lee Ann Rymes? Oh wait, no it doesn't.