I'm interested in growing strawberries using hydroponics. I have read up and understand that there are several types of hydroponic systems, like deep water cultivation, ebb and flow, aeroponic, and drip feed, etc. What qualities or features should I look for when buying a hydroponic system? I'm a beginner and would like to keep the cost low.
If you are a beginner and are looking for the cheapest setup I would just say do it yourself. Build something from scratch from an online tutorial. Instructables has numerous tutorials on different setups and the costs associated to them.
If price is a greater factor than the actual process maybe you would like a new home project.
Check out the Backyard Aquaponics Forum - it's not exactly hydroponics but it is a great resource and a lot of the principles carry over. The DIY section is awesome there and the community is great too!
I'm with Seanland. I did a DWC setup for the price of a 5-gallon bucket with a lid, a few feet of ait hose, 4 small pots, an air pump and a water rock. I probably spent about $45 but you could knock a few dollars of that by using a normal bucket and drilling holes for the pots yourself(I bought this just in peices as they did not have the kit at my local store http://www.htgsupply.com/products/bubble-boy-four-banger-dwc). You will also need to buy nutrients as your grow medium is no longer feeding the plant. I prefer Coco because it is cheap and hold water really well but hydroton is also cheap and effective.