This is in part a follow-up to the CC1110 IC Friday post from a few weeks back. TI has released a USB-dongle based development kit featuring their CC1111 system-on-chip radio communications IC. The board features an msp430 and the CC1111 on a self-contained USB stick and is about 50USD, approved
a very reasonable price. For those that want something cheaper, case
the samples for the family of low-power RF chips are already available and shipping. Finally, the board reference design can be found here and is also mirrored below.
( swrr049.zip )