While I own a few, your expectations are a little high. Here's models I own and they are now years old but I take care with them and don't carry them in my pocket with keys, etc.
Sanyo ICR-XPS01M (would buy again!)
Tascam DR-40 (there are other models in this line, smaller with great mics.)
Now there is that smartphone angle. Always give that a try with an add on mic.
Hi, I'm going back to college this coming spring for IT and I want to record my lectures with a digital voice recorder. I have been looking around online, but I haven't found much information about what brands are good/bad. I'm looking for something that meets this criteria
-$80 or less
-Reliable/durable, not something that will fail after a year and a metal case would be preferred over plastic
-Clear sound quality even if the person speaking is 15-20ft away
-Has the ability to connect to a pc running either windows 7 or 10
What units should I be looking at? I honestly know nothing about the different recording formats or what brands are good.