I have a pre-lit but only two years and so far so good. You may want to look into Light Keeper Pro as that is good at finding what is wrong with the lights. They sell them in Home Depot, Lowe's, Target and Walmart.

I had a beautiful tree that I had to put the lights on and gave it away and bought the pre-lit. The pre-lits are so much heavier than the others but now it is hard to find one that isn't pre-lit.

I love real tree's but stopped buying them about 10 years ago because they started costing about $90. I did buy one the year before last for $45 so the prices have come down but my youngest hates the smell which I love.\

Good luck on picking out your tree. When are you going to get it?