Where are the cheap home streamers?

When CD players were first introduced, they were $1000 and more new.  And this was in early 80's dollars.  New ones would eventually drop to under $200, and new players that also play most all formats can still be had around at that price or less.  Sure, not the best quality, but they work well enough for most.  

The new frontier is of course, streaming.  Whether from a local host, online, and so on.  Many options in the high end, but what seems odd is the lack of budget options.  Probably the least expensive that's of decent quality is the Sonos Connect.  Oh sure, you can pair a computer or tablet with a cheap DAC, and get by.  Or roll your own with a Raspberry Pi solution.  And yes, most disc players are "smart" and can stream audio and video just fine.  Among other issues, is that the budget options are defaulting to HDMI out, and omitting Optical, Digital, and Analog out.  

There were some early efforts by Sony and Dlink a few years ago.  Both not only required a display, but were pretty terrible implementations overall.  We recently tried one of the Dayton WBA 31s.  For a mere $50, expectations were of course also modest.  As you might imagine, analog audio out is not great.  Below that of many phones we'd say.  It does however had an optical output.  A dealbreaker for most of our clients in terms of added complexity.  If produced in sufficient number, there is no good reason such a unit with a decent DAC couldn't be built and sold for $200 or so.  Or maybe someone is doing this, and it's just not well distributed?  

An inexpensive option would be Airport Express to Toslink to Schiit Modi using Airplay. I think it can carry 44/16. 
Obviously, only master tapes of old eight track studio recordings might be able to benefit from Hi Res reproduction and transmission, or maybe current recording that actually use musical instrruments
I think that is neither obvious or true. There are exceptional recordings that predate the multitrack era. Nor are the highest quality recordings made only in the studio - nothing could be further from the truth.
I replaced a home-built streamer PC with an exaSound Sigma streamer ($750) and have been happy with it. That's maybe a bit out of the "cheap" range. I probably had more than that in the PC I was using by the time you include the audiophile USB card, SATA cable, power supply and software.
As others here have said, laptop with a USB connection to a DAC is the way to go.  I've been doing this for 10 years now.   You can make it cheaper by snagging a used laptop off of Craigslist for about $150, wiping Windows and instead loading Ubuntu Linux, which runs just fine on as little as 2 GB system memory.  Most anything built in the last 5  years has twice that much and more, so Linux will run just fine for you.  

The first laptop I used for this purpose was so old, it had a Windows Vista sticker on it.  It was about 13 years old when it finally died.
Denon Heos Link.  MSRP $349

Full streamer, with DAC or digital outputs (coax and fiber).  Will accept a USB drive, and connect to NAS storage.  Wifi or Ethernet.   App is easy to use, and device will connect to all streaming service.

Great sound, and resolution up to DSD 5.6ghz

I use one in our summer house, connected to a restored Fisher 400.