I noticed that the price of protein can vary drastically, is there any real difference in the more expensive brands quote]
There is a difference in the price due to the quality of the whey protein. The higher grade protein is better assimulated and provides a higher percentage of protein, it enters you system faster.
Some companies also add ingredients to whey protein like aminogen.
Aminogen is a vital ingredient in high-quality protein supplements, clinically proven to increase amino acid levels and boost nitrogen retention
Adding electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium helps with restoration and to shuttle nutrients to the muscle cells. Certain vitamins may be added to assist with assimulation.
The addition of these ingredients drive up the price.
There is a pecking order in the quality of whey proteins.
Whey concentrate is the lowest grade of whey protein. It is the most common found on the shelves because it is the cheapest.
People see the price but few read the label of ingredients. Reading labels is to to understanding what you are buying.
All cars are not the same, neither is whey protein. You can't buy a BMW for the price of a Hyundai.
Whey Concentrate is 77% protein. That means that, 22 grams will provide you with about 16.5 grams of whey protein.
Better quality whey proteins are Ion Exchanged and Cross Flow Whey Isolate. These are about 90%. That means if you take 20 grams and get about 18 grams.
Hydrolyzed Whey is the top of the line. Hydrolyzed is composed of di and tri peptides. These di and tri peptides are much easier and faster assimulated...meaning they enter the system faster.
What many companies do is mix the various whey proteins to give you the best value. You end up with a blend of lets say: Whey Concentrate, Ion Exchanged and Hydrolyzed Whey. My recommendation, buy a blend.
(would I actually be getting better results using different whey protein brands)?
In the long run, I'd say yes. In the short run, I doubt that you will notice it.
Also, results are dependent on many factors: your training, recover methods, your overall diet, etc.
What you want is a synergist effect from training, diet, and recovery. Synergistic means the combined effect is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
In plain English the synergistic effect mean that when you add 2 + 2, you get 5 rather than 4. So, the better your training program, diet, recover, etc, the greater your progress.