Compared to most other instruments a soprano recorder is a very affordable instrument. Very fine wooden soprano recorders can be acquired from $100 – $150.
Yamaha makes a fairly decent soprano plastic recorder (series 300) which costs about $27 (tuned). This instrument will certainly allow you to learn recorder technique and play tunes. However, plastic doesn’t absorb any moisture: the recorder tends to clog up much quicker than a wooden model. In addition, a plastic instrument does not sound like a wooden instrument.
My recommended source for recorders has been Antique Sound Workshop. The owner, David Green is a great source of information for all questions regarding recorders. He custom tunes all recorders, thereby assuring that you have the best instrument possible.
“We strongly recommend, that you call us and let us assist you in finding precisely the right instrument to meet your needs, tastes, and budget. We have a detailed knowledge of the design characteristics and playing qualities of every make and model of recorder that we sell and have had much experience in matching instruments and players.” ~ David Green