I am currently developing a project that require a cheap and reliable wireless connection. I know that there is XBee, but it is a bit expensive ($20 off mouser). and that it is not compact. I am looking for a cheap and reliable wireless system, preferably a SMD (TQFP) style chip that I can integrate onto a PCB. It seems a bit tough to find. Digikey has a wide range of chips in the wireless category, but I have no idea what I should be looking for and what is good and what is not.
I want to ask the general community if anyone has used another form of wireless system and had good experience with it. (I've used Nordic before, and I can only say that it is absolutely horrible. The connection quality is just unbearably terrible).
Thank You Any feedback is appreciated.