Many of my prospective students and their parents ask about which keyboard I recommend to get started for piano study. I have decided to write down my "Budget Keyboard Buying Guide" here, so that all can benefit from it.
I recommend selecting a keyboard from Casio, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg or Roland. I would be wary of other brands in a price range below $1000. (For example, Guitar Center's house brand, Williams, seems to have trouble functioning much past the expiration of the warranty) To budget properly, I would recommend spending about $500 on a keyboard. Anything that is below $300 brand new is likely lacking important features that will make practicing at home much more difficult than it should be. I would much rather a student delay starting lesson by a couple of months and get a quality instrument for practice, rather than jumping right in and not being able to practice effectively at home.