Every day we get at least one shop customer ask for a budget option of equipment as they are in a position where money is tight. This follows a trend over the last couple of years with a rise in demand for budget equipment. This is almost always not the most cost effective option.
When I have invested money in my own setups and nutrients, I have often put myself in a financially tight situation until harvest time. What I have learnt is that buying cheap grow equipment is a false economy. Scare stories I hear in the shop from customers who bought cheap equipment somewhere only to get poor yields, or even full scale disasters, strengthens this view. This led to our policy not to sell budget products, and instead to work with customers to find affordable solutions so they can get the equipment they need without the pitfalls of cheap second rate equipment.
Please bare this in mind next time your budget pH pen has broken or you are thinking of buying a cheap tent off eBay.. remember, its as true in hydroponics as it is in any other field, you get what you pay for and if you buy cheap you buy twice: once to buy the cheap tent and second to replace it with the good tent!