Get a Sharp Netflix-ready Blu-ray player for $42.99
It's a refurbished model, and there's a rebate involved, but it's still one of the least-expensive Blu-ray players I've ever seen.
This is an updated version of a deal I posted a couple months back.
Need an inexpensive set-top box that can sling Netflix movies and TV shows? The refurbished Sharp Aquos BD-HP24U will hook you up for just $42.99. That's after redeeming a $20 mail-in rebate (PDF). Shipping adds $9.48, bringing your grand total to around $53.
Oh, by the way, it's also a Blu-ray player.
Funny how priorities change, right? Think about it: if I showed you, say, an Apple TV for $43, you'd probably snap it up. Admittedly, the BD-HP24U doesn't have nearly the same feature set, but it does stream Netflix--and play those quaint Blu-ray discs as well.
This player debuted in January 2010, and originally sold for $279.99(!). I'm bummed that it doesn't stream anything other than Netflix (no Pandora, no YouTube), but if Netflix is all you want, it's hard to find a cheaper solution. Especially one that also plays Blu-ray.
Because it's a refurb, it comes with a 90-day warranty. Blu-ray players can fail, sure, but I think at this price point you have to be willing to roll the dice. $43, people!
Also, the BD-HP42U doesn't do Wi-Fi, so you'll need to run an Ethernet cable from your router to the player. That can be a hassle, but in my experience, Wi-Fi doesn't always deliver the best streaming performance. You're better off with Ethernet anyway.
And speaking of cables, you'll need one to connect the player to your TV. Here's a 6-foot HDMI cable for $3.59 shipped.
Standard disclaimer: I don't know how long Newegg's stock will last, so if this sells out, don't come crying to me. (Aw, go ahead. I've always got a shoulder for you.)
Bonus deal: Game time! Until July 31, EA has Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC) and Need for Speed: Underground (PC) for just $4.99 apiece. These are downloads, of course, not boxed copies. That's some mighty good gaming for a mere five-spot. I'm snagging Bad Company 2; see you punks on the battlefield!