While looking at cheap cookware for my impending voyage into the world of cooking at college, I stumbled upon a really nice looking plate set by Royal Norfolk. I managed to buy three of them in various designs, but all had an underlying aquatic scheme. The plates handle up very nicely after three months of usage, and have not chipped at all. The colors are still vibrant -- coming in a shea shell pattern and a turquoise blue design. They are quite nice looking and are made from ceramic.
When cooking things in the microwave, the plates handle it very well. They clean well, both in the dishwasher and hand-washed. They are incredibly cheap, but appear to be much more expensive. Furthermore, they handle everything I have thrown at them and still look the way they did when I bought them three months ago!