Arms and legs have different values I guess based on perceived value ;-) I'd say if you're looking to spend the least and get a good quality picture, look at the Vizio line of TVs. I don't have one, but have heard some good things from some folks who do. If you can spend a little more, the Samsung LN-T2653H is an awesome 26 inch set. We have the predecessor to it (LN-S2651D) it in the bedroom ands it is the best dang picture I've seen on a small LCD panel. I'm going to pick up another 26 inch in the next month or so for the game/workout room and the LN-T2653H so far has the best picture in that size set from what I've seen.
DFWHD, I keep waiting for someone else to chime in. The price of that one is only $100 less than I paid for a 37" one a year ago. That is what I meant by an arm and a leg!! hehe By the way, the 37" I have, is perfect, even for the local analog signals I receive. I have a 32" that is not worth a flip off of the same Dish 622 receiver as the 37".
I have a refurb 32" Westinghouse. It ain't that great. It does its job as a bedroom TV. If I were you, I would look at Olevia, then Vizio, then Sceptre, since the Sony, Sharp, Samsungs are pretty much out of your range. Mitsubishi and Toshiba also make good LCD's. (Below 42" negates plasmas and rear projection displays.)
AVOID the Polaroids at Wal-Mart. Many would say the same for Emprex and Ilo. However, I really will say to AVOID the Polaroids. I've heard nothing good about them.
allargon, I have looked good at the Sceptre 23" but reviews are not all that great. The "locals" I receive from Dish Network are only good on my 37" Viewsonic and a 20" Panasonic CRT that is old and the one I want to replace. I have a Sharp Aquos 15" LCD in the kitchen that is not all that great either.