There great beginner basses, and even good intermediate bass with new hardware.
Dissonance is Bliss

Signal Chain:
Carvin CT-4
Ibanez TS-9
Carvin Quad-X
TC Electronics G-Major
Mesa/Boogie 2:90
Ear Candy BuzzBomb

Member #4 of the Carvin Club
OLPs as beginner basses are decent, which is why they're included in the FAQ. However, they have a very distinctive sound like their upscale brothers, the EBMM Stingrays, which why there are not for everyone.

Check out the FAQ as well for "starter" basses; there's quite a few good options there that can be gotten in your price range on Ebay or Craigslist.