When you are just starting in the game, you probably should borrow or rent clubs for your first few rounds before you even consider buying. But once you have gotten past that point and have decided you want to purchase, you have to make a fair assessment of your game. Most beginners are shooting 100 or more for 18 holes (perhaps 110 or more), and the nuances of a hand-milled name brand will be lost on the new golfer. In that case, go with the clones.
Assess your game honestly. As an intermediate player, you probably have some strengths and weaknesses. Let's say you hit the ball close to 275 yards off the tee and you can keep it relatively straight. You may want a driver manufactured by a name brand like Nike or TaylorMade to get the most out of your shot. A clone will be an excellent club, and it will cost you less, but you may find the extra 10 yards you get from your name-brand driver are worth the difference in price.
You may also struggle with your short-iron play. You may find that there's no difference in the clones and name-brand clubs when you swing them. If that's the case, go with the clones.
You can mix and match. You can buy the manufacturer's brands for your strengths and the clones for the areas of your game that need the most improvement.
If you regularly shoot in the 70s or less, you have probably developed some level of expertise with all areas of your game. In that case, you may want the name-brand clubs. They may cost you more, but you have the skills to get the most out of your clubs.