Got my 4GB Clip+ not too long after they came out for $50 + tax, so yeah, that's a good deal for an 8GB Clip+. I also bought a 16GB Sandisk micro SD card for around $50 or so from Newegg. They're a few $ cheaper now. As long as you format the Clip+ and the micro SD card before you use it, they should work fine. I had to deal with some corrupt songs, but after formatting and reloading, it works fine. The FM radio doesn't pick up 95.9 and 96.1 (96.1 is my favorite station around here), but switching it to world mode lets it pick up 96.15, which is just as good as 96.1. Gapless playback isn't perfect yet, but other than that and the radio, it's a great player. Sounds better than my iPod Photo. Can't wait for a Rockbox port, then it might be almost perfect.
As for the best affordable portable FLAC players, I'd say it's down to the Clip+, Fuze (although I haven't heard it, I've read alot of good things about it), or a used Rockbox compatible player. The Clip+ and Fuze don't have alot of capacity (though you can get 24GB with an 8GB player + 16GB micro SD card for a little over $100), but they're probably your best new affordable options. I really like my iPod Photo (the hard drive is acting up again, but hitting when it acts up makes it work fine for now), but the Clip+ sounds a little bit better (even with the iPod amped with an LOD and EQ'ed the way I like it). The only real downside with 4th and 5th gen iPods is having to buy used or a refurb. You could strike gold, or you could end up replacing everything and it will still act up (like my failed attempt at reviving an iPod Mini...). Parts are pretty cheap (except for logic boards...), and they're really not that hard to work on. Rockbox lets you tweak the EQ and such very well. My 60GB Photo cost me $36, and a little elbow grease so far.
So, if you want to just go out and buy a new, reliable DAP for FLAC, the Clip+ (or Fuze) with a micro SD card would be a very good option. If you really want Rockbox and don't mind being an iPod mechanic, a used 4th or 5th gen with Rockbox would be a good option too. You'll just have to juggle with flash, hard drive, storage space, battery life, and slightly better sound. I bought my Clip+ on impulse, and it ended up being my primary DAP for a couple months.