I went with the Garmin GPSmap 76
for $180. The color handhelds are much nicer, but they run about $400+. For that price, you're almost to a GPSmap 172C
which is the direction you may eventually want.
So far, I'm very happy that I went with my $180 handheld. Just remember that both are almost worthless until you buy the Garmin BlueChart map
for them so add $100 to the price. Do NOT buy a GPS 72 or 76 without map capabilities, you want a GPSMAP model.
They do sell units that already have the good maps, but they start closer to $1000.