Congrats on this exciting time! I think it's really important for women to support each other in their choices, so I think you should feel free to do whatever you want to have a (reasonably) stress-free childrearing experience! Breastfeeding can be different with each child so you could consider trying it to see if it's easier this time, but certainly keeping all options open on formula. Breastfeeding is certainly cheaper and if you enjoy it, that's great. You could consider a lactation consultant, or La Leche League (free).
On formulas, dairy can be difficult. I used soy as my child had a problem with milk. I used ProSoBee which is the soy formula made by the same company that makes Enfamil. FYI both were formulated by the same team of scientists. One of the reasons that they are expensive is that they were patented at the time - they were unique formulas and were awarded US patents. There is tremendous expense involved in the research, and also in the application process for a patent. One of the reasons prices remain high is that the company wants to recoup the expenses they laid out in the beginning. After many years, the patents expire, and other companies can copy the ingredients.
In general, even if the ingredients are the same, you sometimes have to worry about the quality of the raw materials. For example, a lot of people think that they or their infants have an allergy to a raw ingredient, when in fact they are reacting to something in the processing. Soy is a great example - it's used worldwide and has been for 5000 years, and in its natural state there is really nothing to cause an allergy. Once we in the industrialized world process it with alcohol or something else, or preserve it with something chemical, or mix it with some sort of emulsifier, suddenly there's an allergy!
So, a generic isn't necessarily of lesser quality than a name brand - it really depends on what they do to it. It's really hard for a consumer to tell. So I would say, if you try something and it doesn't agree with your baby, don't assume it's the dairy, or the soy, or the fact that it's a generic. Just switch to another one and see if the same thing happens. For that reason, I would try some samples from the hospital or the pediatrician, and then when you find something that works fine, buy in bulk.
The powdered formulas contain the same basic nutrients as the liquid - the liquid has to be refrigerated but it's convenient otherwise. However, if it isn't used up, it does go bad so that's a waste. The powdered is more portable and keeps longer, but you definitely have to mix it up. I used to carry it in the baby bottle, then add water when necessary. If I was out at a restaurant, I just added cold water and then had the waitress bring me hot water as if for tea - add that to the cold, and presto - a warm bottle!
Good luck, whatever you decide!