I have weighed in before on "the great retail digital cable pricing scam" in which the usual local retailers charge way too much for digital cables, but the trick is to find a source of cables at a decent price. You may be lucky enough to live in an area like Silicon Valley where there are retailers that appeal to the technically knowledgeable, but for the rest of us the best bet is the Internet. One source I have discovered is the Optimized Cable Company which offers a wide selection of digital (and other) cables at great prices.
Case in point: I wanted a 3 foot HDMI cable for my modest home theater system and got their 3 Ft. Ultra-High Speed HDMI Cable – 28 Gauge – Gold Plated 1.3b which retails for $9.99. The specs are all that you could ask for including:
Most Current HDMI Version: 1.3b1
Connector Finish: Gold
Shielding level: 3x Triple
Shielding type: EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)
Certified HDMI: Yes
Backwards Compatible with HDMI Version 1.2: Yes
Supports Blu Ray & HD DVD 1080p: Yes
Supports 480p, 720p 1080i, 1080p, 1440p: Yes
Supports Lossless DTS 8 Channel Audio: Yes
Supports TrueHD & DTS-HD: Yes
I installed it and it worked perfectly which is all you really need to know about a cable. You can pay a lot more at a local big box store or online for an HDMI cable, but you aren’t going to get a better one.