I'm wondering if there's a good company out there that can turn prototypes around for less than $300 per part?
As my prototypes get smaller and more complex, I've felt the pain of doing a lot of soldering. I've been looking for a company that can alleviate that pain a bit.
The last six months I've been working on a project that has growing number of parts, a lot of LQFP pins, smaller and smaller SMD parts. There have been a lot of re-designs and each time, I feel more pain of multi-day builds and tests.
Looking around for a company, I couldn't find a company that would cost something reasonable: most of the quotes were in the $500 to $1,000 per board range. Even some of the cheaper offshore PCB assemblers require a $200 stencil (ok for a short-run, depending on how short, but not awesome for a prototype).
I was wondering if anyone knew of a company that was offering prototype assembly on the cheap. I can wait 8 days (I can wait longer), but the price of $750 per prototype is too expensive for me.
I was also wondering if anyone else had this problem and thoughts on how to solve it? I saw Sparkfun's Pit of Despair blog post a few months back and thought I might be sinking into that (http://www.sparkfun.com/news/909)