I think the WUSTL vs. Illinois debate can best be summed up in a "Moneyball" sort of analysis.
Back when I started applying in 2008 (God, has it really been that long?) the LSN information I had indicated that WUSTL was throwing 90k+ at anyone with a 170's LSAT and a pulse. Having both, but not much more I was very, very interested.
However, that was the year that WUSTL turned off the Splitter Cash Hose, while Illinois on the other hand started getting pretty generous.
To be honest I wasn't thrilled with either choice at the time. WUSTL's private school atmosphere bummed me out (Its pretty and leafy and whatnot, but its also a bit sterile IMO) and I felt weird about staying down at Illinois when all of my friends were graduating and leaving.
But I knew I at least wanted the option of Chicago and that scared me off the prospect of things like my Miami full ride, etc.
But anyway, getting to my point, when I started applying I fully planned on going to WUSTL not because its a better school than Illinois or a better fit or whatever, but because the information I had indicated that it would be cheaper. Well, the market changed. Now it seems like everybody is getting more money from Illinois than WUSTL. Yet for some reason (My suspicion is that its equal parts private vs. public bias, US News rankings, and the logical fallacy of "if this one costs more it must be better") people seem to take it on faith that WUSTL is the better school.
Its not true. They are peers (along with ND) and should be treated as such. Its not like the gas station where if you pay the extra $.10 you get better gas. Its the same gas. Fill up with the cheapest one.