You might be able to find a cheaper light stand, but not by much. At $19.99, the Impact LS-6B six-foot light stand is about as inexpensive as they come, though it doesn't look cheap.
The black finish looks professional and all the parts are in place. The cheapness comes in when you hold it — the LS-6B feels flimsy, especially when you begin to extend it. But it holds a flash and umbrella and stands up straight, which is about all I need it to do.
The first thing that struck me was that they were smaller than I'd expected. The product page at B&H listed these specs:
Minimum height: 32"
Maximum height: 6'
Closed length: 34"
Footprint diameter: 30"
In actuality, the folded (closed) length is only 26.5 inches, which is a full 7.5 inches less than I'd expected. This is actually a good thing; it makes them easier to store and transport. They also have an actual minimum height (when standing) of 27 inches, fully five inches less than stated. Also a good thing, because sometimes I want my flash to be low. But the "footprint diameter" was larger than listed, 36" instead of 30". (The fully extended height was exactly 6' however.)
This isn't that big a deal, but I've come to trust the specifications listed on B&H's site and these were wrong (I've notified them). For what it's worth, they're incorrect on Impact's site too.
The product pages mentioned above have been updated since I posted this review, to change the "minimum height" (now 26.3") and "closed length" (now 26.3"), close to what I measured at home. They still have not updated the "footprint diameter".
When I first fully extended one of them to six feet and took a photo, it was clearly bent (see image at left). I shortened it a bit to 5'5" or so and the shaft was again a straight line. This is simply evidence of the cheapness of these stands, but doesn't mean they'll fall apart.
Both stands are tipped with a 5/8" stud and a 1/4"-20 male thread, as advertised, which is all I really need to hold an umbrella swivel or a speedlight. And that's about all there is to this light stand.
If you're planning on mounting heavy equipment, this isn't the stand for you. If you need a stand to hold an off-camera flash in the corner of the room, then you've come to the right place. At twenty bucks, these are hard to beat.