The flavorful, cheap beer I used to enjoy was Weinhard's Dark. It is definitely NOT up to the style standards of Porters or Stouts, but my experience is that those types of craft beers are never cheap. Like most things, you get what you pay for.
I've long advocated drinking less quantity but higher quality. But, I can't say I advocated that when I was 18.
Sampled a couple of fabulous beers over the weekend, of similar style. Each was ~11% abv with monumental residual sweetness and body. Eku 28 is from Kulmbacher in Germany. Amazingly smooth, but almost cloying. Dogfish Head Immort Ale was from CT (I believe) and had much nicer hop balance. Each had characteristics reminiscent of Skullsplitter and Samichlaus, two other huge holiday beers.
I'm still REALLY enjoying this year's incarnation of Deschutes Jubelale.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem