JMA - This is a photo of my CRKT m16-10z. I carry this daily and it sort of fits your requirements - Blade length, finish, tanto style, etc. Under $50 also. I keep it sharp. For instance - I built a fence this last month and the many bags of concrete I needed were sliced open with it, used it in grad classes to cut up paper, the end has been torqued on quite a bit. I am pleased with its edge retention and size. For the price I believe it to be a good value. I've used and sharpened it enough that the transition from straight to tanto portion is a bit smoothed out -
CRKT knives are not American made but I recently picked up several older CRKT knives and have dealt with their customer service. If you need a part or service they are very easy to deal with.
My sister in law and a friend took the larger versions to Afghanistan and said they held up to continuous use.
Open Overall Length 7.125 inches
Closed Length 4 inches
Weight 2.3 ounces
Length 3 inches
Thickness 0.08 inches
Edge Triple-Point Serrations
Handle Material Glass Filled Nylon
Lock Type Locking Liner
Safety System AutoLAWKS
Carry System 1 Position Clip
Hope it helps in your decisions.