My husband and I have a "theory" and I'm not sure if it is sound or just because we are cheap! We always try and find not the BEST (although in some things it can matter) but not the cheapest because it always seems to come back to bite you - as in 1 year and it's shot. Something above middle ground - and you can also do research on line to see which brands are rated best/middle/worst. Then I always do a price comparison and I prefer Ebay (if new items) or Amazon (same) - and then I try and get a match at a local store if at all possible so I have a place to return it to if a problem. We have Standard Brands here even in the STICKS and they will match anyone's price which is kinda cool! Hope that helps!
DVD Players are no longer something you'd rather worry about in regard to "price."
They're all made by some youngin' in China, and unless you have a wicked surround sound system or a hi-def television than I wouldn't worry too much about spending a lot of dough on it. They can be had, just as players, for generally around 30USD and often cheaper.
Personally, however, I loved my Apex. Played everything that you could put on a CD or DVD (yay for hackable firmware) and it's not failed me yet. Paid $150 for it several years ago, however, and the saying goes..they don't make'em like they used to.