Ok, listen up, I'm sick and tired of people asking me for a gaming rig to be built and demanding a 300 dollar motherboard. I've built more machines than 98% of the people I know, and I've built rigs with cheap boards, expensive boards, high end and low end alike. And do you know what? The 300$ boards have a higher rate of failure over time. Not even kidding. So like ING Direct says, Save Your Money.
I'm giving a few examples of awesome budget boards, depending on your intended use, all work great, and have a good track record.
AsRock A780LM-S or G41M-LE
Who is this board for? the PC you're building for your parents or spouse who doesn't do a ton of gaming and doesnt need super expandability. These are great AMD / Intel boards that feature SATA2, PCI-E 16x for future expansion, and 2 DDR2 slots for a max of 4GB of memory. These boards make up a good 80% of the low end custom builds that come out of my shop, and they make up 95% of the boards that get sold over the counter to my regular customers. There's a reason for it. Seriously, in the THOUSANDS of motherboards I've sold over the years, these bastards never come back.
Bonus: They make a great replacement board for a dead desktop
eMachine / HP / Dell /Gateway for under 80 dollars
AsRock H55M Pro or 880 Extreme3
Who is this board for? Budget gamers and power users. Seriously, these boards pack in everything that 99% of all users need in their systems. The H55M Pro is the most recommended board from tomshardware.com and thats really saying something. it has dual PCI-E 16x, 4 slots for DDR3 Ram (16gb max) and a whole slew of advance features. This board takes the Intel Core i3/i5/i7 chips so you've got virtually unlimited upgrade potential which makes this the low end gamers board of choice.
I had to enclude this picture of the AMD 880 Extreme3 board, as frankly if it didn't have the AsRock logo, you'd think this was a premium ASUS motherboard. Boasting all the features of a 280 dollar Asus board, this offers amazing options for an AMD enthousist looking to save some money. 3 PCI-E 16x slots, 4 DDR3 slots and enough SATA ports to make a small file server, this board is a 100 dollar champ.
Bonus: These boards both have respectable onboard video
including HDMI out, allowing you to save money by purchasing your video card later.
You'd think I was getting paid by AsRock here, but tomorrow I'll post some GigaByte options that are also available in the Sub-100 dollar platform.