your not really gonna get a gaming keyboard for 30 bux as gaming hardware on average costs 30% more than normal kit.
microsoft do offer some reasonable quality keyboards for 30 bux and should be your jumping off point. i dont think you will find a back lit 1 for that money.
its a pity you cant go another 20 bux as you could then get the logitech g11
My main concern is the feel of the keyboard and 3KRO+. I like the G11's key size and placement, but I don't really want to pay extra for other features. I'm also curious if mechanical keys make any difference? Seems like a marketing gimmick to me.
Mechanical keyboards make a huge difference in overall typing experience compared to rubber membrane keyboards. I would say they make a nice difference in regards to gaming if you enjoy the "feel" of a mechanical keyboard over the rubber membrane keyboards.
I had a back-lit razer lycosa (still have, trying to sell) and just replaced it with a cherry mx brown mechanical keyboard, and I love it. I play all types of games. Currently playing a lot of BBC2.
Rubber membrane keyboards are easy and cheap to manufacture. It is one large membrane for the entire keyboard and when the rubber dome is pressed down all the way by the key you press, that key is registered by the computer.
Mechanical keyboards are more expensive to manufacture than membrane keyboards. Each key will have it's own mechanical switch to register when the is press. The more keys on the keyboard, the more switches it will have. Also it is not necessary for the key to be pressed all the way down to be registered; about have way is enough. This makes it faster to type on a mechanical keyboard than a membrane keyboard.
Most high end mechanical keyboard has a feature called "n-key rollover" where the keyboard itself scan each key individually and can allow all the keys to be registered by the computer if you were press all or as many keys as you can simultaneously. This feature is only supported by the PS/2 connection, not the USB connection. For Razor's BlackWidow line of mechanical keyboards only have "n-key rollover" for the A,D,S,W keys.
Membrane keyboards only allows for at most 6 keys to be registered when pressing them down simultaneously. Attempting to press more than 6 keys down simultaneously can result in no keys are registered to at most 6 keys.
Lastly, if the keyboard's membrane develops problems such as not registering a specific, then the entire keyboard must be replaced. Since a mechanical keyboard has a switch or each key, it is a simple matter of replacing the switch.