Whatever you do don't buy a non handmade bodhran. While I am sure there are o.k. one's out there, for a slightly higher price (not that much really) you can get a good quality handmade bodhran which will last you a lifetime. Mance Grady makes nice one's as do makers in nearly every inch of the world (mine was made by Malachy 'Bodhran' Kearns from Roundstone, Ireland). I have met some bodhran makers in some fairly interesting places. Another option is to make your own which can be done and there is a good guide on the Ceolas Celtic Webpage which gives step by step instructions if you are the adventorous type.