Why do felt Stetsons cost $250 and up? Why do the fancy models cost thousands? Manufacture is "complicated and costly" and they're hand-made from the raw fur up in Texas. The inexpensive clones involve cheap materials and extensive automation. And it's the fur (much of it sourced from Ukraine, if you want to know how expensive Stetsons are going to be) that Business Insider reports is the key hallmark of quality.
You only get two hats per pound of fur, and chinchilla fur is $600 a pound. Stetson makes straw and wool hats too, if you want the look without the squeak, but doesn't seem to have anything going on in synthetic felt.