There is no difference in the effectiveness of different brands of fertilizer. I have used them all and have found the cheap brands are just as effective as the expensive name brands. I use Menards brand (the cheapest brand in my area) and have achieved great results. It all depends on how much nitrogen is present in the fertilizer. One other trick I use when I fertilize my lawn is to add a 4 pound bag of Epsom Salts to my fertilizer spreader. It adds magnesium which plants use to produce chlorophyll (the green substance in plants). My suggestion is to go with the cheap brand. Here is a picture of my lawn to show you my results.
Aeration is way overrated. Only aerate your yard if it has VERY compact soil. Otherwise it's not necessary. I have never aerated my yard in almost 10 years. Aeration, if done too frequently, can damage the yard as much as help it. Again check out my lawn pics for results. :-)