The Barnes & Noble Classics line offers a lot of classic (or at least old) works at very reasonable prices. They manage to do this by using, by and large, editions that are out of copyright. By reducing the production costs of the books, they can reduce the price for the customers.
This approach is excellent for works that were originally written in English. B&N gets a modern scholar to pen an introduction, and maybe some notes. These are attached to the freely-available text and sold at a low price. You could download a copy for free and read it (and this would probably be the preferred method if you have an ereader device), but for those who still read paper books, you pay a small price ($5-$10) and get someone to typeset and bind it for you.
Translations of non-English works are another matter. By using an out-of-copyright translation, you miss out on modern scholarship, and you get a translation that might sound archaic (although some readers probably prefer this). I figured this would be the case with Beowulf, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that B&N had commissioned a modern translation.
John McNamara has produced a translation that is really quite good. It is very faithful to the original text, but is not literal to the point that it becomes hard to read. On the contrary, it reads very well. No attempt is made to mimic the meter of the Old English, although McNamara does make fairly frequent use of alliteration. To round it out, there is a good, brief introduction and a set of end-notes that help to clarify tricky bits of the poem, or to give some context.
In all, this is a highly recommended translation. If you're looking to read Beowulf for the first time, I would have no hesitation in recommending this version, especially (but not only) at this price. The serious Beowulf student will need extra materials, but then that's true of most Beowulf translations.