Type R will handle more power, but if you are using a smaller power amp then the W0 will be better. You want to "match" the wattage from the amp to the wattage of the sub (RMS wattage).
I have always use JL Audio subs, and I perfer the lower number series (W0, W1) because of the music I listen to, I feel that they offer more versitility. Not totally awesome for Techmaster PEB at HIGH volume, but responsive enough for a fast bass guiter.
I think it depends on what you want the sub for... when I was in high school I wanted loud bass to shake the shit out of the car, have everything rattle and could care less how the music sounded.
But to follow your analogy through, not everyone wants or needs a Maybach. If you want a driver's car that is engaging to be behind the wheel of, the 3 Series would be a much better choice than a 59 or 62.
not saying which is better ive never had the alpine line but I'm using the 2 jl audio w0 an to me it does what I want an there hooked up to an precision power 800 watt amp am they slam id rather get the same subs but in 10s not 12s