I've always had a love for nail polish.  For as long as I can remember, I've been painting my nails.  I still remember ruining my mom's bedspread when a bottle fell onto another, broke and spilled dark blue (or purple) polish all over.  Oops!  I don't know why but I continue to paint my nails on my bed, maybe I should stop that?  I have this gel manicure kit that I bought a year or so ago and I love it.  But I just can't stop buying regular polish, too.  I like changing up my colors depending on my mood and I'm not patient enough to soak my nails for the gel polish removal and so I end up ruining my nail beds by peeling the color off.  So, for the days (and by days I mean nights) that I have time to sit and let my polish dry regularly, I like to use Essie, Formula X or Covergirl Outlast polish. 
Formula X is by far my favorite "high end" brand to use.  The color options are great, I love the packaging and the polish stays on my nails pretty long.  And the dry time is pretty great too. 

Essie is my favorite "mid range" brand.  They have an amazing color selection - I particularly love all of their little sets they come out with.  And the names are so cute!  The polish doesn't last on my nails for very long but I'm okay with it because it goes on smoothly, covers well, and you can find it basically anywhere.
The best "cheap" polish you can find, in my opinion, is the Covergirl Outlast line.  I discovered it when they came out with the Star Wars line of colors and I picked up one on a whim.  I got "Speed of Light" and boy oh boy, it was the best cool-toned grey polish I'd ever used.  I went back out the next day and bought "Red Revenge".  The formula is super pigmented, lasts FOREVER on my nails and is right around $5!!  I usually pick up a color or two when they're on sale at Fred Meyer's for $3 or something.  I just love them so much.  I wish they had a better color selection though, that's my only complaint. 
Other notable mentions: OPI (I want to get the "Hello Kitty" collection for Claire), Jessie's Girl JulieG polish (I find mine at my Rite Aid but they don't sell them online), and surprisingly, Jamberry has some nice polish.  I really don't like the nail wraps, I prefer a solid color on my nails aaaaaaand I suck at applying them.  BUT the polish is pretty decent!

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thanks for the input!