With business cards, there really is no middle ground. There are two general tiers: there’s digital (or offset), which are both inexpensive, and it shows. These cards will look grainy and bland. Then there’s the old fashioned way: letterpress, foil stamping, duplexing, quality stock, etc. The difference in cost is not trivial. Based on my experience, digital or offset cards can cost from 20 to 50 cents per card, whereas “real” cards can cost anywhere from 75 cents to 3 dollars per card, depending on the options. But the difference in quality is dramatic.
I spent $750 on one-thousand cards for Splint, and I’ve never regretted it. I used Henry & Co in Atlanta (warning: Flash-only site). Everyone has their own priorities. Some people view cards that expensive as a waste. My opinion is that if I’m giving something to a customer (a product, a meal, a business card) it had damn better be nice.