Yes they can be harder on it. But from what I remember about the lubricant business, the frequent oil change thing is a good part hype. They're in business to sell you more oil and filters. Notice that the vehicle manufacturers recommend oil changes far less frequently than the oil manufacturers push. The oils are actually far better than the oil people want you to know. When was the last time you had an oil related problem or a significant loss of performance that can be traced back to insufficient lubrication? Well, being that you change your oil so frequently, you probably haven't had any. How about someone you know?
I've never had a problem with a car or motorcycle because I didn't change the oil every 2000-3000 miles. I stopped doing it when I started working for the oil manufacturer and was told to stop wasting my money. Now I usually change the oil about every 4,000-5000 miles. Andm especially with synthetics, that's not even necessary. It's just an ingrained behavior.
The API (American Petroleum Institute) mandates a certain additive package to get the current year's approval (and the standards keep getting higher every year). That means all conventional oils with current API approval are virtually identical. In fact, as you mentioned above, many of them are the same oil rebranded. The synthetics and semis may differ a bit more, but they're all basically very effective. They just get there a little differently.
Of course, it can't hurt to change the oil more frequently. And if you want an extra safety margin and don't mind spending a few bucks, that's fine, too.