Voyetra Record Producer Deluxe $60 - The easiest to use. Audio/MIDI sequencer. Wave editor is great. *** It doesn't support VSTs ***. It doesn't have envelopes.
REAPER $50 - This baby rocks. Audio/Midi sequencer, envelopes, supports VSTs failry easy to use.
Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus - Great recorder. The plus version has audio sequencing ( wave file, loops, etc. but no midi sequencer ). I have used their smaller 8 track recorder. Very well designed. Snappy as all heck and oh so easy to use.
If you want to make music from scratch, I would recommend taking a peak at REAPER. The envelopes are indispensible and you can do just about anything you want with this guy and you don't have to spend an arm and a leg. If you want to record, go with the Acoust Labs Multitrack Plus. For their price, these are the best on the market. And believe me, I evaluated about 20 packages and these are the easiest and best for beginners. Good luck.