I love reading the responses to your question. I feel you left out a cable that certainly is budget priced but can run with some of the big guys...Cardas 300B.
I liked them better than my Corals and I found them smoother than my Silver Streaks.
I have at least 20 interconnects hanging about because simply put "system synergy" can and will make or break most systems. Impedance matching is extremely important as well.
I'm gonna throw you a curve ball here. I love reading "Stereophile" and in particular Sam Tellig's column. Sam shared with his loyal readers a interconnect that for $20 was embarrassedly competent. He found that it was by no means a front runner, however, he just could not believe the performance he obtained from a $20 inerconnect.
I went out the next day and proceeded to buy a 1 meter pair. I hooked it up in the basement and ran it solid for 50hrs. I then brought it upstairs and installed it between my CDP-1 and Preeminence One. I had to call my wife into the room to hear this. The cable was no Cardas (which it replaced for the demo) but it sure was an absolute steal for the money.
Now don't be fooled. I have seen on E-Bay, Audioweb and here, people trying to sell cables made by the same manufacturer, but not the same model number saying "Stereophile recommended $20 cable". The Acoustic Resaearch Pro ll Series model no. HT-130C. Their new series, the AP line, does not have the same qualities as the older HT series, in fact they sound like $20 cables where the HT cables sounded as good if not better than the PBJ and XLO pro 150 cables.
As it turns out, I liked the cable enough that I thought I would go out and buy a few at different lengths. No such luck. I grabbed the last 4 remaining cables. The employee of Future Shop told me he was just about to empty the shelves to restock with their replacement. Remember if it is not the HT series, than it wasn't recommeded by Sam or me, as if I matter (ha,ha).
Of course this is in my humble opinion, experienced in my humble system.
Good Luck and feel free to contact me. email@example.com