You may be surprised to see this drive on this list. True, the drive's price of $363.00 makes its affordability questionable. It costs far more than the either two drives here, and in fact costs more than nearly any other single piece of hardware a person could buy.
But the Intel X25-M makes the list for two reasons. The first is that there is no reason to recommend anything else. The OCZ Vertex series is exceptional, and if your budget is anywhere between $100 and $300 dollars, then you should probably buy a drive that is part of the Vertex series. OCZ offers capacities of up to 120GB, which means there is probably a Vertex Series drive near your price point. There is nothing quite as good until you get up to Intel's X25-M, which is a better product for the price.
The other reason is to exhibit how quickly prices are dropping. At launch, this drive routinely cost over $500 dollars. Only a few months later, Newegg is happily offering it for only a hair over $350 dollars. If budget is your primary concern, then the X25-M is still not the drive to buy. But if bang-for-your-buck is just as important, then the X25-M is a strong contender. And with the SSD market rapidly evolving, these prices have no where to go but down. Volumes will increase, costs will be stream-lined. This drive will likely retail under $200 dollars within the next six months.
So there you have it - the Intel X25-M is winning a sort of rhetorical victory. Currently, it is not ultra-affordable. But if the OCZ Vertex Drives or the Super Talent MasterDrive just don't grab your attention, and you don't want to pay for an Intel X25-M, you always have the option to sit back and wait for SSD prices to level out, as you shouldn't have to wait for long.