In short, you do get for what you pay for. It is no fun waking up in a puddle of water. I have seen even moderatly priced tents tear apart in a gnarly wind storm.
3 season tent= summer fall spring ( winter too but no snow) it will have lots of mesh and somewhat good venting.
4 season tent= winter snow and fall. Can withstand many feet of snow on top of it. Winds up to 70mph ( think Mt Everest) and will cost at least 2X that of a high quality 3 season tent
1person tent= just you, nothing else.
2person tent= you want gear, or 2 people who don't mind cuddling
3 person tent= 2 people plus gear
If you will be camping in the desert, try and find a tent with minimal mesh that won't zip up, blowing sand comes right on it though the mesh. I woke up in Death Valley with sand in my mouth and eyes.
I myself don't like to use stakes because you can only use them effectivly in a few kinds of places. The sand can't be to soft or to hard, ground has to be almost perfect in order for stakes to work right. I tie about 24" of cord on each tie down of the tent, this lets me tie the tent to anything. The bike, rocks, trees, bushes, logs, small animals. But with that being said I carry 4 stakes that came with the tent with me, just in case I run into the perfect ground.
The only thing I use the vestibule for is boots, anything else left out there will get muddy if it rains or filled with sand if its windy.
Another thing that I don't understand is the "motorcycle" tent with the little covered parking spot. These bikes are built to drive down the freeway in all kinds of weather going 65mph, why are people scared to leave them out over night?