you can buy a decent cd player in the states for $125-200, under $50 for a portable discman type thing that, when plugged into a stereo amp/receiver, sounds pretty much as good as a component. of course, you can spend $300-7,000 on high-end audiophile units as well.

also, i find most of my cheapo $1-3 cds at used record stores, not online. even if you find them them cheap online, you then have to pay another $4 for shipping/handling, or more if international.