I usually go for the Napa Gold (or CarQuest Blue) air filter's as well, but I did use a CQ Red filter in our Malibu in the previous cycle. It's in the same league as the Napa Silver or ProSelect, and my 7,900 mile UOA showed an excellent silicon reading.
FWIW, the Napa Gold I placed in service afterwards had more media than the CQ Red, and the media itself was different. I don't know how much more effective they are at trapping dirt, but I would imagine there is a difference. At the very least, it should hold more dirt than the cheaper lines.
With that said, I had 41k on that Red filter and it wasn't clogged by any means.