Well I know you won't get fully-weighted keys for "proper" Piano playing. I'd take a look at M-Audios keyaboards because they're always good for affordable hardware in my experience and their keyboards are quite good, although their Keystation 88 Pro (what I have) is a bit bouncy and the Axiom controllers are a little "hollow"-feeling for my tastes.. but then I've been spoilt by two of my friend's proper electric Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos which feel amazing but cost ££££. I've been quite happy with my M-Audio keys.
I strongly recommend you go to a good music store to try some out on demo. I know of Anderson's Music in Guildford, Absolute Music Solutions in Poole and Guitar, Amp, Keyboard in Brighton.. all really good stores.
The M-Audio Pro Keys 88 SX looks good for you: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/ProKeys88sx.html
GAK have it for £224. It's fully sized at 88 keys but only 8KG. The keys are semi-weighted but it looks good to me.. I considered getting one until I instead opted for the Keystation for more MIDI control and fully weighted hammer action (like a real piano feel).. although I'm not sure I like it so much as the keys are rather heavy and can be quite tiresome to play.
It doesn't have a massive range of sounds but I would recommend against getting a keyboard in your price range with loads of sounds because they simply won't sound as good - the hardware synthesis/sampling won't be as good because they can't afford to put that in a competitively priced keyboard. The sounds are:
- Piano1: grand piano with 2 velocity layers
- Piano2: bright grand piano
- E Piano1: electric piano (2 velocity layers)
- E Piano2: electric piano based on Wurlitzer (2 velocity layers)
- FM Piano: classic electric piano based on Yamaha DX7
- Perc Organ: organ based on Hammond B3
- Clav: instrument sound based on Hohner Clavinet D6
It has reverb and tremelo controls. I think you will get a really nice built-in sound out of this unit that won't sound cheap and "keyboard-like" because it is sample-based (recordings of far higher quality instruments triggered by the key velocity etc.). If you want other sounds I would look at plugging in a laptop and using soft synths/samplers. This way you get an unlimited range of sounds (if you're bothered about piracy you can actually get loooooooooooads of really good free VST instruments and free programs like the excellent Reaper to run them with) and your money focuses on higher quality keys that have a better feel, and more of them, and more connectivity on the keyboard instead of a million sounds only a few of which you will actually use.
It has proper pitch and mod wheels and full plug-and-play USB MIDI compatability (plug it and control soft synths and save patches or whatever). It also has all the expression pedal inputs. The pedals are pretty affordable at about £20 each online.
You can get the standard ProKeys 88 that has fully weighted hammer action and more sounds and general functionality for £339 but it is huge (almost the size of my KeyStation) and weights 25KG.http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/prokeys-88/68520
That's more of an installation keyboard but it is possible to move it if you got a good case (but the case would be expensive).
If you want loads of sounds get a synthesiser but the keys will be no way near as good. In which case take a look at the Roland Juno-D Limited Edition - one of my keyboardists has one and it's pretty good with a large variety of sounds and some alright sound controls.. but the keys are a bit boring, however consider that some keyboardists actually prefer the lighter touch especially if you play very fast solo lines or use apreggiators a lot. A good all-round, entry level digital synth. It did recently get upgraded to include more sounds though and it does come with built in arpeggios etc. It has some funky light-beam controller for weird parameter control but that's a bit of a gimmick. Generally it is well built. It will fit in a guitar-sized keyboard bag and weighs about 5KG. I stress that sometimes these keyboards can sound very digital and tacky but there are some nice sounds in there if you play with the controls and.. for the love of god.. just don't use the brass sounds. You can get some more psychedelic and weird sounds out of it too if you dig in, and the filter/attack/release control knobs let you do the whole synth-tastic sweeping sounds thing.http://www.roland.co.uk/products/produc ... aspx?p=429
You can't afford a good Korg and from what I have tried in the shops the keys are horrible
on their cheaper units.
The Yamaha Motif MM-6 looks more flexible in terms of functionality but I have no idea how it sounds for feels.. it has more arrangement and sequencing functions but it's up to you whether you would ever use them in a band.. I doubt I would. Stick to computers for that shizzle. There's no point paying for such functionality to be built into a unit these days as it is all just so limited and annoying to control compared to proper DAW (digital audio workstation) app.http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/71945
Good sites to buy from arehttp://www.absolutemusic.co.ukhttp://www.soundware.co.uk/http://www.dolphinmusic.co.ukhttp://www.guitarampkeyboard.com
All of which I've had very good service from. GAK's a good place to start from because they have a lot of stock but Absolute Music is by far my favourite shop. They're very fast. I've spent over a grand with them and had no problems as have a few of my music tech buddies.
This isn't Gaf where being a Junior Member means you're opinion is worth strawberry float all, this is GRCade where nobody has a decent opinion.
PM is your friend.