on my search for the cheapest way to get onto 40 and 80 meters (top band is optional but I'll stick with 40 and 80 for now) I happened across a kit from India called the μBITX, a small 10-watt HF kit capable of CW and SSB operation from around 3 to 30MHz, for around US$129 (price in GB£ will vary depending on the exchange rate), all it needs is dropping in an enclosure, wiring up, connecting to power, a little calibration and it's good to go.
A kit like this is just what is needed to bring the true meaning of the hobby back, in the earliest days of radio all transmitters and receivers were built from the ground up, though this has near enough all the PCB components soldered onto the board there is a little bit of work to get it working, it also requires an enclosure (metal of course) and a speaker, ventilation should be provided near the finals to help with the cooling.
This kit proves you don't need an Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu radio to get on air on HF, you don't even need an Elecraft for those SOTA activations, just one of these kits fully assembled, a suitable antenna and tuner and you're good to go, and of course batteries, even AA batteries, and you can get on HF from a hilltop, away from that wretched QRM that all today's modern consumer electronics generate, and if you do accidentally cook the PA transistors, they're of a common type and you can replace them for pennies.
The full details of this kit and how to order it are here, and I am very tempted to order one myself and start getting out there and getting on HF.
73 de 2E0EIJ