In the Battlestar Galactica TV show, some of the Cylons were born and raised as normal people, yet others seem to have only been grown in the resurrection ship(s). Is there something about the final five which differentiates them? Was this ever explained in the show?
This is actually covered quite clearly during the show itself. It's a bit spread over episodes, but the main explanation comes in season 4 episode 11 (Sometimes a Great Notion) and 15 (No Exit). If you haven't gotten that far, the remainder of this post is a major spoiler.
The big reveal is that the thirteenth tribe that left Kobol for earth was not a colony of humans but a colony of cylons. These cylons originally had 'resurrection' but became more and more humanoid and lost the technology in favor of regular reproduction, however it is implied they are still 'immortal' (don't die of natural causes). The so called final five all worked in the same technical facility on earth 2000 years prior to the events of the show. They somehow knew total nuclear annihilation was coming and re-invented resurrection. After they died during a nuclear holocaust they resurrected in a ship and started traveling back to the 12 colonies but without jumping technology it took about 2000 years.
When finally arriving they discovered the human/ai cycle had once again occured and humans were at war with the cylons (centurions). The centurions were trying already to create humanoid cylons (lead to the hybrids). The final five promised to help them complete that research, including resurrection, if they stopped the war. As a consequence of this they created 8 non-born cylon models, that were however slightly different from themselves (e.g. they could not reproduce and there were many copies). In the show we see only seven because one was destroyed (out-of-universe reason: they needed to explain the numbering gap because boomer was called an 'eight' early on).
so tl;dr: The final five actually created the other cylons seen in the show and while these creations were modeled alike, there were some differences introduced.