Like BBally said... if you are handy with tools and want to not spend $$ make yourself a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker), they work great and can usually be made for under $100 depending on the bells and whistles you attach.
If you don't want to build one then I am with RibKing... save up and get a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain), there is a reason they are considerd one of the best smokers you can buy for under $500. I spent $180 on a Char-Griller offset when I started, and after about 8 months I sold it for $80 and bought a 22.5" WSM for $365. Hindesite being 20/20 I really should have just started with the WSM it is such an easy to use and rock steady smoker that it really is worth every penny, and they have really great customer service.
If you do end up looking at one of the ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman) smokers save yourself some $$ and buy a used one off of craigslist for about $30, most people buy them try to use them without making the modifications, give up and sell them for dirt cheap. They can work if you modify them.