You mean recorder or only microphone? Try used things. If you want cheap recorder try some older Sony DATs it's ok but you must keep mike away from running tape Mikes are wider problem - try battery condersers even cheap ones from Thomann or other chineese
I'm talking about a recorder...mic built in
Have you considered solid-state audio players like Cowon or Meizu etc with built in mics and a recording facility ?
Cheap and high quality... Isn't that what we all want? But I know what you're getting at. I honestly think for under $80, you can't get anything new and have any reasonable expectation for it to perform in the way you detailed (low noise, decent mics, etc). I second the suggestion that you keep your eyes open for used gear.
Hi there, I use a Zoom H2 for outside and portable recording and it is a great little device. I just keyed in "Zoom H2" in ebay.com (I see you are from the U.S.) and I noticed quite a few being bid for in your price range. Have a look and see.