The sony mdr-ex71 in-ear headphones have been out for some time now. I have compared them to the apple in-ear headphones, skullcandy headphones, and several other brands but still walk away satisfied with my decision to purchase these over 4 years ago. And yes, this one set has lasted 3 years.
The sound quality is great, they are comfortable, and 3 or 4 different sized rubber cups are included so you can "customize" them to fit your ears.
Some say the bass is too heavy, I haven't found that to be the case unless I really jammed them in my ears.
They are definitely my pick for the sub $50 headphone market.