Staying on the cutting edge of technology is costly. As CPUs become faster balancing cost and performance will help you get the best bang for the buck. If you don’t build your own computer please disregard this post.
The cpu chart on paulisageek.com takes the perfomance data from cpubenchmark and the pricing data from Newegg for the end ratio of performance/price. AMD tops the list for the best value and performance for the money. The ideal CPU costs between $70-100, any more or less then that and you’re not hitting the sweet spot.