I've gotten the cheap welder ( it was like $170 and a gift from my parents), so cheap I don't even know the name of it. Then we got a hobart 140. That thing is amazing, the penetration is perfect and even if you don't know how to weld you'll lay an amazing bead. Its easy to use and will weld up to 1/4 steel. Anything more than that and you should really be spending more money just for your safety.
I generally only like to run Millers or Lincoln's or ESAB. Just like it's said above, you get what you pay for man. Don't go cheap with a welder that's going to produce something you have to rely on. (If that makes sense)