Is it really necessary to spend $35+ for a decent charger and batteries?
As with most other things you get what you pay for. To me it doesn't make much sennse to limit the performance of a several hundred dollars/euros camera just to save 5-10 bucks on the battery and charger. These things are anyway considerably cheaper today than they were several years ago. So, the answer to your question is probably yes get good quality cells such as Sanyo 2300 or 2500 mAh and a decent charger. Your camera will run longer and your cells will last longer if you charge them in a cool charger