I'm also cheap when it comes to e-cigs. And when I looked into mods and RDA's and all that, I was put off by the costs of all this fussy stuff. I would want to pay more and work harder because...? I would investigate this at a vapor shop about once a year, just to keep in touch. No sale. I don't enjoy fidgeting with ohm-meters.
But! I got a new toy last week, the Ego Cloud - $21 at Vaping Mall, pure plug-n-play. It's great! In the picture, that's the Ego Cloud on the left, modeling with a basic Ego-plus-micro-core clearomizer setup, and an iStick-plus-micro-core clearomizer on the right.
The Ego Cloud looks handsome. The tank has a 510 fitting, and could run on another mod, but it looks nicest on the battery it came with. The battery says plainly that it can only be used with atomizers up to 1 Ω, so I'm not using it for anything but the kit's own tank. The battery is 2200 mAh capacity, and a little wider and heavier than a 1300 mAh ego battery. It stands up on end perfectly, which I appreciate.
And it produces a lot of vapor, and tastes great. This the first adjustable airflow clearomizer where I didn't set the airflow wide open. The vapor production level is actually too high for me, because I'm a chain vaper. If I use this constantly the way I do my other rigs, I get way too much nicotine too fast. This may be part of what makes the sub-ohms so popular - a very strong dose in a very short time. To chain-vape on this, I'd need some lower-nicotine juice. My other caveat is that the mouthpiece is really wide - that's the clear bit at the top.
More on compatibility. Vaping Mall doesn't sell the replacement coils for this, but the kit includes 2 coils, and you can get 0.5 Ω micro core replacement coils at MadVapes. They also offer 1.2 Ω replacement coils, and as I mentioned last week, I have a couple mod batteries, and I already use micro-core replaceable clearomizers. So I bought some 1.2 Ω replacement coils, and yup! they're compatible. I had to crank my iStick up to 15W from its usual cruising altitude of 9.5W, and then the 1.2 Ω core vaped great in my existing clearomizer (the one pictured on the right). I actually slightly prefer that "low-ohm" experience. Better vapor production, excellent flavor, but not quite the over-the-top vapor production (and e-liquid consumption) as on the Ego Cloud.
There are a lot of these kinds of devices coming out now. I don't know that the Ego Cloud is the best - but it's great, and for $21, I definitely recommend giving it a try.
And no - neither Vaping Mall nor MadVapes gave me anything in exchange for saying so.
What I'm vaping these days is Micro Core replaceable bottom-coil clearomizers. They give a huge flavor boost over the previous clearomizers I was using. There are bells and whistles available, but what I actually like best is the cheapest plastic clearomizer with the basic replacement core.
On the battery end, I never warmed to variable voltage batteries. But I love the new variable wattage. There are lots of these now. My favorite is a 20W eLeaf iStick (includes a 510-to-ego connector). But you can find standard ego-type variable-wattage batteries, too. These are set-and-forget. I set them to 9.6W, and they vape great with whatever clearomizer I screw onto them.