My guess is the problem with my particular Baofeng relates to quality control. Unfortunately, you just don't get much of that with a $22 product. I possibly could have obtained a different Baofeng and been pleased as punch with it. I'll never know. I will say though, for $22, the Baofeng feels remarkably solid in the hand.

Instead, I went with a Yaesu FT-60R. That's quite an older radio design, but still selling extremely well. What I like about it is the knob-based control vs. button-press based control. You still have to push some buttons, but the knob is what scrolls you through menus and frequencies. I also liked the knob-based squelch. Seems like most radios use up/down buttons that only change the squelch setting after you've navigated through menus and submenus. By the time you've navigated all that, your need to adjust the squelch has passed already.

Because the Baofeng is so cheap, it's probably worth a shot buying one, and hope yours is a good example. If not, return it and get another one. Since mine was given to me free by my club, I didn't have that return option available to me.