I like Watkins Original Vanilla, and it's as good (to my taste) as my expensive Williams-Sonoma brand, whatever that is. Watkins (check online & eBay) is $9.99 to $12.99 for an 11-ounce bottle. Love it!
If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child
As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan