A friend of the shop asked us recently what we thought about cheap circ saws. Our answer was to get whatever you can afford and rip it — mostly because having something that will do the job is better than nothing. Our friend went out to the Depot and snagged a brand new $35 Ryobi 7 1.4” 12 amp saw. He loved it.
The first thing he did is stuffed a $15 Freud 40-tooth finish blade in it and went to town. After about 20 hours of cutting he called us back and said it was the best cash he’d spent for the shop in as long as he could remember.
We suppose you could argue about the life of the saw and that better quality saws will last longer, but for what he’s doing (ripping veneered ply stock) it worked great; you really can’t ask for better than that.