my neighbor has a 2005 nashbar touring frame in 58 or 60 hanging in his garage. he's never even hung a part on it (changed mind, lack of interest) and wants to sell it. he got it real cheap so he oughta be able to make a good deal with someone. i'd buy it myself but i take a 52-54.
i looked it over carefully. i was impressed by the overall build quality, since i expected it to be junk. welds were typical of todays alum frame construction (a generous wide weld seam but not sloppy). i really couldn't find anything wrong with it. then again, you don't know for sure till you build em up. nice green color.
after looking at his touring frame i had some confidence in the quality of the frames nashbar was selling. i bought a 2005 nashbar steel mtb frame. it was only $70 bucks shipped, so i shouldnt complain. the dang thing weighs ~7.5 lbs in 19" size. yep, thats a frame, not a frameset. its so heavy you notice it as soon as you get the packing off and start flipping it around to inspect it.
the welds look good, alignment looks good, paint job good. they used what looks like seatstay tubing for the chainstays, so its a little funny looking. evidently the entire frame is made from straight gauge tubing to reduce cost. this is the only plausible explaination for its high weight. i've weighed 4 frames at the post office, all fell between 4 and 5 lbs. i didnt weigh my neighbors touring frame, but it felt like normal weight.
the nashbar touring frame is a pretty good deal IMO. if youre building a budget bike, you probably could more wisely use the $200-250 dollar price difference between it and the very popular surly LHT for better wheels, hubs, r derailer, shifters etc.
btw you should look around for a 10% discount coupon for nashbar if youre gonna buy, theres almost always a valid code out there.