You'll get an answer for every single person on here, maybe even more than one answer.
I've had an Alinco DJV5 ( DJ-V5 Specifications ) around $240 new. This is a dual band 2meter/70cm, or for just a 2 meter YAESU FT-250R for around $120.00
Best thing to do is connect with some hams in your area, they will know what works best for your locale. But a handheld is always a good start, unless you are way out in the boondocks. 2 meter, and 70 cm are pretty popular in my area, your mileage may vary. As always, ebay is always an option, but just be a smart shopper, as sometimes stuff can be bought brand new from a real dealer. craigslist.org is also a good place to look. Good luck.
If you can afford the extra money get a D-Star capable radio from an Icom Dealer, D-Star is growing quickly in the state, plus you can still use 2meter/440 analog side of the radio for all other repeaters. ID80 is newest model but the IC92D is also a nice HT (2nd generation).