Baofeng UV-5R. What a cool radio and CHEAP! I only paid $45 for it from Amazon. Here's my take on it:
1. It's the cheapest way to get into ham radio - I don't think there's a radio of this quality anywhere at this price.
2. It's not really hard to program manually, if you learn the tricks. It took me awhile but I finally put all 12 stations in manually. There is software for it, which is really easy to use, but I wanted to learn to program it so that when I'm on the road, I can program it on the fly.
3. It has a lot of extra features like a light, a siren, and an FM radio. Not sure that I'll use any of them, but it's cool anyway.
If you've always want to get into ham radio, here's the radio to get (after you past your test, of course!). The Baofeng UV-5R is great for a gift, door prize for ham clubs, new operators, and for an extra radio!