Updated Question: If I can monitor my water temps, do I really need a PID anyway? I am thinking now a PWM for boil control would be sufficient, and when it comes to heating mash and sparge water I just need to put a thermometer in there and turn off the element when I hit my temps. If I end up adding a second HLT, a PID would be nice, but I do batch sparging anyway so I'm not too concerned. If I decide to add a mash tun element, then a PID might help, but even so I don't heat my mash now and it holds temperature just fine.
If anybody wants to see what I see when I'm thinking my thoughts:
MyPin PID/SSR combo
For $33 I can get the PID and SSR (I'm planning to use a CPU heatsink) vs. $61 + shipping for both from Auber. Just wondering if anybody has any real-world experience with the cheap-o option.