I tried a bottle of that $2.99 Villa Mt. Eden 1999 "Coastal" cabernet. Not one to age further but a nice wine, straightforward fresh cab fruit, not overoaked or overextracted, reminiscent of a Veneto or Friuli cab.
Very good value at $3, I wouldn't feel ripped off if I'd paid $8. On the other hand, I don't feel any compelling need to buy more.