My first 8x10 was a Kodak Masterview. I now own a KB Canham 8x10, with 4x10 back and other accessories. I liked the KMV, especially that it was metal and folded up so nicely into a box. The only drawback was that the front standard was nov as rigid as I would have liked. When I put on a heavy lens (a few pounds) and tilted the front standard forward, it could not hold the weight of the lens and would sag down. I partly fixed this by replacing the nuts with locking washers and tighter thumbscrews.

I really like the Canham. No complaints, but it is way above your budget.

I second the general concensus towards a Deardorf, just be sure to get one with front swings as early models don't have them. A KMV is still a good recommendation and a lot of camera for the buck even with my problem. Lensboards for KMV's can be hard to find, but post here if you get one and I (or others) will point you to people who custom make them.

A new Tachihara looks real nice as a basic 8x10 for $1300 at www.mpex.com so youmight check that out. I think it only has base tilts which are a pain but usable. It folds up and is luggable.

Good luck.

-Mike