Looking for cheap DVD player recomendations and a little info

Less important than my questions below is: Whats up with the state of dvd player prices? Several years ago walmart/target/ebay etc had dvd players that could play just about any modern dvd media, were based on recent chipsets, many had the ability to play mp3/wma/divx/xvid etc for less than $40. Usually for $20-25. Granted they weren’t the best quality but there were several brands to chose from, the things were commodities.

Now I cant find one for less than $50 on ebay unless its really old and doesnt do any of that. What happened?

I’m looking for a stand alone dvd player, nothing fancy or expensive. It would be a plus if it was in the smaller form factor so it would be easier to take with me. 20% of the reason I want one is to take my movies over to friends houses that have old dvd players that might not like burned media and wont play divx etc. I’ve got a big ass CD wallet full of stuff I’d like to share.

Hopefully I can get one with the following or many of these options:

-Play DVD ±RW’s, CD ±RW’s and be compatible with most modern discs
-Playback modern versions of and reasonably high quality divx/xvid - any more codecs it supports is icing on the cake
-Offer a healthy assortment of connectors in the rear. All it needs is RCA style svideo and some rca audio connectors. If it has component, hdmi etc awesome.
-Maybe one that comes with cables too since it would cost $10 to order some rca audio cables and would save me from cannibalizing one of my video card assortments.
-Region free/upgradable firmware isnt a must, but is always nice.
-Cost less than $30

Am I dreaming? Is there a reasonably comprehensive site with a list of dvd players available in the US and the chipsets/features they have? Thanks in advance

VideoHelp.com has a fairly good list of DVD players.

Sadly it includes a lot of obscure players not for sale in America. I haven’t kept up with the chipsets either so being able to select from 30 of them with no info doesn’t help.

a bump

When high definition tv’s started becoming more popular, dvd player manufacturers made all their players “upscaling”, and jacked up the prices. Its a big scam.
philips dvp5990 is not much more expensive though.
Plays almost any avi file i’ve thrown at it. (no high def avi files though)
Plays wmv and it can be made region free very easy. (just google the unlock code for it)
I highly recommend it.