There isn't any decent $50 option out there at the moment. The reason Directed's were $50 was that they were quite old tech. If you wait 4-5+ years I'm sure you will be able to find a boomzbox for that price, but it's gonna take a while .
You could go with the HQCT, but I hear the quality on those is lacking. If you want quality, pay the price and get the boomzbox. There are cheap options (HQCT,Radioshark) but they're just that.... cheap.
All this information is available in the posts you have read, sans the boomzbox option which is relatively new. Nothing much has changed in the past few years tbh.