I've been using a $19 Weller 40w Iron for about two years now, with no problems other than my tips going bad ( Tips are like $2.50-$3.00 for two if i remember right. ), But my Iron has also been dubed the "community Iron" for about 5 different drivers
I've used up one tip, and will probably replace the second within the next two months. I'm sure they would last much longer if the kids who use my iron accually knew how to solder! The large chisel tip holds heat well, and Ive never had a problem with the iron "going cool"
$19.99 Weller 40W With Chisel tip
$10.00 (?) Radio Shack Soldering Iron stand W/ sponge