Any suggestions? Cheap and basic, or are there functions on these things that I don't even know I'm missing? Currently I Navigate with binos, compass and paper charts (and like it that way) so I know very little about what electronics are current.
Some of the 'new' features available in chart plotters are:
Tide and Current display. You can see tide and current prediction information for any area at any time. This was new about 10 years ago.
Map display - you can see an electronic display of a paper chart with your boat displayed in the center. The screen will look like paper but you can zoom in, pan the display, etc. This was new about 10 years ago.
Satellite Display - You can see a 3D like display of the area you are sailing in. Some of the displays will show the bottom contour as well
SONAR Integration - Many new plotters have integrated SONAR / fishfinder units. This allows you to 'see' the bottom and determine if it is sand, mud, rocky, etc. This makes selecting an anchor and anchoring location easier
Touchscreen interfaces - no more confusing buttons and knobs.
Integration with IPhone / IPad / Andriod devices - the plotter screen can be sent to a phone or other device. You can control the device from anywhere on the boat
Integration with RADAR - the radar and plotter information can be overlayed on the same screen to make it easier to figure out what you are looking
Integration between VHF and Plotter - for sending and receiving DSC messages including distress.
Networking between other instruments, like autopilots, wind speed and direction.
The more you spend the more features you get. On the low end, for $300 or so you can get a small (3.5" display size) color chart plotter / sounder. For $3000 and up you can get a 10" unit with radar.
Go to a marine store and look around. See what you like, what you want, and what you think you need. Decide on a budget and then look around some more.