Hi Jeff: I have a personal bias towards good tools, which are, unfortunately, the most expensive. It took several cheap tool replacements for me to realize that I was paying a lot of money for lesser quality tools.
Unless you plan on doing heavy duty construction, you don't need an 18 volt. If you need to bore large holes or do heavy drum sanding, get a good 1/2" cord drill. I have an old 9.6V Makita and a 12V DeWalt that are plenty of horsepower. Other brands to look at are Porter Cable or Hitachi. I'd steer clear of Craftsman, B&D, Royobi and Skil. Yes, I know, the price is tempting.....but the additional money for quallity is worth it.