It's a measure of how far CPU technology has come when you can buy a CPU with four cores on a single die for about $235. That would be the AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition. It's also true that for under $300, you can buy an Intel quad-core CPU manufactured on a 45 nanometer (nm) process.
If you consider that the original Pentium processor, which ran at 66MHz (and that was the high-end model), was built using an 800nm process, with a measly 3.1 million transistors-well, you get the idea. And people spent upwards of 1,000 1993 dollars to buy one.