Lanikai are part of the Hohner music company. Initially their ukuleles, being made in China and laminated, were at the cheaper end of the scale (although they are increasingly moving into higher end ukes) but that hasn't stopped them getting some high level support.
Lanikai are a bit hit with the indie crowd. The most famous Lanikai uker is Zach Condon of Beirut.The model he uses is an LU-21TE. The LU-21T only costs around $100, which makes it a good buy for a first time uker - particularly if you're looking to start with a tenor. The LU-21T is also used by tUnE-YaRdS, Scott Matthew and Hailey Wojcik. Other high profile Lanikai supporter are Jason Mraz and Robert Plant (although the only place I've seen them with a Lanikai is in promo pictures).
Overall, their LU-21 range is a great place to start for anyone looking to buy their first ukulele.
Zach Condon strums on his Lanikai LU-21TE
On Musician's Friend
LU-11: Starter ukulele, nato construction. Price: $46
LU-21 standard: Soprano ukulele, nato construction. (no, I'm not sure what the difference between the LU-11 and the LU-21 is either) Price: $59
LU-21P: Soprano pineapple ukulele, nato wood. Price: $59
LU-21C: Concert size version of LU-21. Price: $79
LU-21T: Tenor version of LU-21. Price: $109
LU-21B: Introductory baritone ukulele. Price: $119
On eBay US
Lanikai LU 21 Soprano Ukulele
On eBay UK
More in-depth look at Lanikai's models:
Curly Koa Series
Lanikai LU21 Video Review
Lanikai LU21 ukulele review by Mike.
Here's the picture showing the thickness of the top which he references in the video:
Lanikai Concert Ukulele Review
Review by hoosierhiver
Ode to a Lanikai Ukulele by Stephen Palmer
My Best Ukulele by Stephen Palmer
Chords: C, A, G
You get the idea of structure after the first verse:
My favourite uke is a
Concert sized Lanakai
I bought from Ron.
He is man who owns a
Music shop in my
We had a conversation
About me getting tickets
To see Tom Waits
When I got back I played my
A D C
Uke til my fingers ached.
My ukulele has a slender neck
And curves like my girlfriend
She is the only one that
I will ever play, until my ditty ends.
I'll never treat it bad
Or treat her bad.
This is a promise I'll tell you.
All I ever want to do
And play my uke.
I wanted to make a video
To win the competition
I would have played the song myself
And give a demonstration.
But I don't have the time,
And I don't have the patience.
So I will leave the melody
Open to your own interpretation.
I think the ukulele is the best
Everyone should have one
Mankind should strive to reach
This aim of mine, it would be so much fun
There would no terrorism,
Or danger to the world coming from guns.
In the one hand would be a ukulele
The other hand would strum.
So now you know my great plan
To achieve world dominaton
Using only cunning plans
And a four string combination.
The world would be
Such a better place, if I was in charge.
With my army of ukulele players.
We would do no harm.
So this what I think of
When I pick up my uke to play.
And should my enemies try to steal
Her or plan to make her stray.
I will play a song so beautiful