If the truth be known there are only 4 battery makers in the US, or so my parts man tells me. If you live in the hotter climes stay away from batteries with very high CCA (cold cranking amps). These batteries cram more plates into the same space to make it appear that you are getting more power for your money. The problem is that since the overall size is the same they must put the plates closer together thereby reducing the cooling space between the plates. Less space = more heat = shorter life.
The easiest way to keep track of your battery's life is to get a $4 hydrometer and learn to use it. A hydrometer will tell you long in advance when a cell, and there fore your entire battery, is failing.
Don't be fooled by long warrenties on batteries. This is a sales ploy to get you to come back for another crappy battery. Check out how much rebate you will get after the battery is over 3 years old. Chances are that it isn't much. The ploy is that once you get into the battery place you figure that what ever little rebate they give you is better than nothing so you sign up again and the cycle continues.