I've been looking at getting a controller to play some platformer games. I was thinking of getting the Logitech F310. They run about $25. It has a switch to change it between xinput (360) an direct input modes. However the reviews I've seen say the analog sticks have huge dead zones. This probably wouldn't be a problem for me since I'd only be using it for platformer games, but it is a bit of a concern.
I looked on Amazon months ago and I swear the wired controllers were $30, but around xmas they were $32. I decided to wait until after the holidays for the price to return to normal, but now they're $35-40 from 3rd party sellers. I've seen the wireless ones go on sale a lot for less than the wired ones though.