Lanikai's LU-21 series of ukuleles is one of their most popular, particularly with beginners. They're very affordable and one step up in quality from the lowest price ukuleles. They also go one step further than the cheapest uke makers by having concert, tenor, baritone,pineapple and electric ukuleles in the range.
With more and more people starting on a tenor ukulele, the LU-21T is getting to be one of the most popular ukuleles for beginners - and deservedly so. They well constructed, have geared tuners and sound pretty good (they're made from nato which Lanikai claim is just like mahogany - I'm not quite convinced of that).
The LU-21 also seems to be the uke of choice for the indie crowd with it being used by Scott Matthew, Zach Condon, tUnE-YaRdS and Hailey Wojcik.
Sesso plays his electric tenor LU-21TE.
On Musician's Friend
LU-21 standard: Soprano ukulele, nato construction. Price: $59
LU-21P: Soprano pineapple ukulele, nato wood. Price: $59
LU-21C: Concert size version of LU-21. Price: $79
LU-21CE: Electric, concert size. Price: $129
LU-21T: Tenor version of LU-21. Price: $109
LU-21TE: Tenor electric ukulele. Price: $139
LU-21B: Baritone version of the LU-21. Price: $119
On eBay US
On eBay UK
Lanikai LU21-C Review
My ukulele is a Lanikai LU-21C Concert. I bought it off of Musician's Friend for 79 dollars (shipping cost 10 dollars more). At first, I was unsure if I made the right decision to buy it, since I was just starting out at the time. I wanted an ukulele without burning a hole in my pocket, but I didn't want a crappy sounding one either.
When it came in the mail, the ukulele itself was very pretty. It had a smooth matte laminate finish and the body is made out of a nice and deep colored Nato. However, when I strummed the strings, the sound was even better than the appearance alone! The sound was very full and it sounded much better than the one I borrowed from my friend when I was first starting out. It was also very clear sounding, and it was even louder than the Squier I have in my room (unplugged, of course). Not only that, the tuners also hold up very well. It gave me no difficulty whatsoever when I first tuned it, and it still doesn't when I want to play in different keys.
I recommend buying this ukulele strongly, especially if you're a beginner, because not only is it reasonably priced, its value is remarkable.
Review Lan Chan