Josten is correct about the Panny BD player. In my humble opinion, they make the best DVD and BR player. I own a Sony PS3 and I have no complaints, and in fact, I think the PS3 is as good as the Panny, but then my PS3 cost $499. But at this point in time, I won't own a Sony DVD or BD player (had very bad luck with them), nor would I personally own some Samsung players (I have 3 friends who own the model 1600 I think, and none of them will play the Blu-Ray version of "James Bond Quantum of Solace". My meager Panasonic BD35 loads this film in seconds, has BD Live, has in internet connection for Firmware upgrades and basically is a great player. The BD60 is even better. My PS3 has the same abilities too and has never had any problems playing any BR disc.
What Josten is speaking about in his "CONS point 2" has nothing to do with burning a DVD. Yes, you need a separate DVD recorder for this. The 480i issue refers to the output resolution of the BD player, but applies to standard-def DVDs which are inherently 480i resolution compared to 1080p for Blu-Ray, and these standard DVDs you can be upconverted to a higher resolution to match the resolution of your HDTV. Basically you have two choices to upconvert a standard DVD: Use the video processor in the DVD player or the video processor in your HDTV. You need to experiment to see which gives the best result. I have all my BD players set to 1080p output for upconversion, but my TVs are set to 1080p too.
Back to the question of cheap vs. expensive BR players, the cheap ones will be able to play BR discs, but has has been stated, you may have issues with being able to play some discs, issues with being able to upconvert, issues with being able to play audio CDs or display jpeg images on a CD or memory stick. The Go-Video DVD/VHS combo players sold like hot cakes, but I can tell you from personal experience, they were absolute junk. As the old saying goes sometimes, you get what you pay for.