For the most part one set of rotors isn't going to last longer than another. They are all made from cast iron. Durability is a property of the material, not the name of the manufacturer. The big difference is the quality put into manufacturing the rotor.
One way you can save on cost is to buy standard non-slotted or drilled rotors. When they wear down or you build up pad deposits its usually $10-20 at your local autoparts store to have them turned down and you can reuse them (usually once). For that I would recommend the Centric Premium rotors. You can do all four corners of your car for under $200. PM WRXBrakes for a price quote or check their website (knsbrakes.com).
Brake pads are a whole different deal. If you want/need high fade resistance then you want a more aggressive pad. The down side is that aggressive pads tend to make more noise, produce more dust, eat up rotors faster, cost more money, and don't work very well at colder temperatures. KNS Brakes also carries the Stoptech street performance pads, which have been getting some really good reviews lately. There is a thread about them here in the suspension forum if you want to read about 'em. I just put a set on my girlfriend's tC and I'm impressed so far. They were a significant jump from her stock brake pads, but I think they might actually be better than my Carbotech Bobcats which cost twice as much.
Next time I change rotors and pads it'll be Centric rotors and the Stoptech pads. I priced it out last week...$270+ shipping from KNS Brakes. You can use the rest of your $500 budget to flush out your brake lines and use a higher temp DOT 4 fluid ($20), and perhaps donate the rest of the budget toward some stickier summer tires that'll help increase braking performance by improving grip.