Recently we have been investigating remotely switched PDUs for the lab. Several of the items in the lab right now do not have IPMI and remote power control. As a result, it is somewhat difficult to complete simple tasks like power cycling the units remotely. We recently highlighted a deal in the forums for a Baytech RPC-3 8-port Ethernet based PDU which are selling for under $50 on ebay. These are extremely inexpensive selling for under $50 each in many cases.
The Baytech RPC-3 is an older unit, and a web interface is not present. On the other hand there is a stock Telnet/ SSH and serial interface where one can see current power consumption and remotely power cycle the power outlets. This works well except that it does require a shell login and knowing the right commands:
One fourm member, BThunderW made a great control application for Windows to give these units a graphical control interface.
Overall this is not the most elegant solution, but is highly practical. One of the benefits of this is that the RPC-3 is allegedly a true RMS (root mean squared) power meter. It does not meter by port but does meter across ports. This is useful even for simply testing how much power will be used for a set of equipment prior to datacenter installation. True RMS is generally considered to be superior for this type of measurement versus simple averaging meters that can be found in devices like $20 Kill-a-Watt devices.
This is certainly not as fancy as some of the newer units, but for under $50 it is one of the least expensive options out there.