You can try the Gligor brand, which retails at about $450.00 for a 1/2 size violin outfit. Usually a good broad tone.
The next brand down would be a Franz Josef, which should retail for $320.00 or so. The tone won't be quite as good, sounds a bit like a tin dingy. F Post placement can be pretty awful, as can the bow stick quality, which often has a bad warp of the stick.
JS Bach brand retails for $150 - $200. Bad tone. Bad bow quality. Awful F Post positioning. Lots of issues with the peg movement. It won't matter what strings you use - nothing will improve it.
For a young violinist, while it might be tempting to go the really cheap violin, ultimately it's a false economy. There's no resale value in cheapies. If your child is serious, you'll get about 6 months of okay use, and then the child will be so frustrated with the awful sound quality they may give up - no matter how talented.
If you have any more questions, I'm happy to advise.
Edited by Quill, 24 November 2012 - 01:41 PM.