I'll get made fun of, but I recommend Turtle Beach X12s. It's an entire headset, not just a mic. But for $50-$60 they're fairly good. And depending on which version you buy, you can use it for your 360 or PS3 too, if you have one.
They have pretty good sound quality and the mic quality is fairly good. Only problem I have is that when the mic is turned on, when you have the volume on the speakers turned up you'll get a hissing sound. But you kinda have to turn the volume up high for that to be a bother. --- Big Money. Big Women. Big Fun. Skillz Ferguson
I think I come off as rude when I call everything that isn't at least a Blue Snowball garbage :)
I'd just say that you have unrealistically high standards. There are a few alternatives to the Zalman that don't do anything noticeably wrong and work perfectly fine for everyday use. Garbage implies something is trash and not worth using at all.