The Baofeng UV-5R dual band handheld is an excellent choice for the new ham.Been watching the 2m/440 dual band HT market for a while now, hoping to find a decent priced radio that I can use when out in the field. I see a lot of great reviews for the Chinese radios that are coming into the states with the best being the BaoFeng UV-5R dual band HT.
Although this is a radio with full open transmit from 100-170MHZ and 400-480MHZ, it still gets great reviews from every ham that has purchased one so far. I see on every Ham blog that mentions it that if you can get past the menu system you have a solid radio that you can get for under 50 bucks.
One recommendation that I suggest is to purchase or make your own USB programming cable. That will ease the setup and make it easier to program all your favorite repeaters into the radio.
The BaoFeng UV-5R 2m/440 HT is a solid radio that can be used out during emergency situations that will provide years of service. And if you break it you aren't out for too much money being under 50 bucks.
Just be careful where you use it since it will transmit on the FRS/GMRS frequencies as well. Some of these can get you int a lot of trouble.
You can check out the great reviews on the BaoFeng UV-5R here.