I have been playing!! The Bodhran for about two years and am in no way the expert but I am however Scottish and in that regard I am expert in ensuring that I get the best for my money.
As Corwen said a budget drum which will cost in the region of $ 80-100 and in almost all cases this is a total waste of money not because they are particularly bad but you will find very quickly that although you can practice the drum will never perform or sound like the ones that you see played on the internet. The next level up is to purchase a budget tuneable drum and again as Corwen explains they in the main come from India or Pakistan and the skins have not been given the best finish which will matter little in your first few months but will become the most annoying thing as your skill improves.
The fact is it is all about the skin and unfortunately this costs a great deal.
I have spent some time investigating the better manufactures around the world and I have found that in the main even including postage the European ones are better value than the US manufactures.
I have also taken my lead from the All Ireland Bodhran Championships http://www.worldbodhranchampionships.com/
which gathers the best players in the world. You do tend to find that the best only use two main manufactures Seamus O’Kane http://www.tradcentre.com/seamus/
and Christian Hedwitschak http://www.bodhranmaker.de/new/index.php
. I am as I said going on the results of the Championships. You find in both cases that they have started to lose the internal cross bar which I would recommend and in almost all cases the rim of the skin is taped up.
In short do your homework, a good drum from the two above will cost around $300 you could save a little by getting one from Seamus’s son who is now working out of London http://www.tradcentre.com/diarmaid/gallery.html
I have one of his and its top drawer.
Also check out this web site http://www.bodojo.com/
it will point you in the direction of all of the better manufactures in the world, and again don’t take my word for it, research.