Cell phones/plans

I confess I am way behind the world in phone technology. I have only ever had a basic tracfone. Am now ready to cut off my landline and need some advice to rummage through the massive cell market.
I cannot afford a topline cell. I do not need bells and whistles though I do use the web/email quite a bit. I do not want any contracts either. I am looking for easy to use, under $50/month.
Any insights/experiences/what to avoid welcome!