Just because they're cheap doesn't mean they are "cheap."
When remodeling your kitchen, the kitchen cabinets are a major focal point and can eat up almost half the cost, but there are ways to get amazing, beautiful, like-new cheap kitchen cabinets.
If your cabinets are still in really good condition, a new coat of paint or stain and new hardware, like funky, eclectic knobs and hinges, can do the trick for a fresh new look at a nominal cost. You can also get a brand new look by refacing your cabinets for half the cost of a complete replacement. For a complete replacement though, and if you have the time and patience for it, you can scour thrift stores, cabinetry shops and home improvement stores often for deals on discounted and clearance cabinets. Just be patient until you find what you want.
Painting and staining is an inexpensive way to update your kitchen cabinets and make them like new again. To get that smooth, like-new look, the trick is in the light sanding between coats of paint. If you do it yourself, be prepared to be working on it over the course of two or three weekends or a full week or two, and plan for your kitchen to be out of commission during this time. The process will require you to remove the cabinet doors and hardware, clean all of it thoroughly and paint or stain it all separately. You'll need to apply primer before you paint, and you'll have to decide if you're going to use a paint brush or a sprayer.
Another option for an inexpensive cabinet makeover is to reface them. Refacing is the process of applying a thin layer of wood or laminate veneer over the existing cabinet boxes. With refacing you can change the wood and color to something completely new and different, and the choices are plentiful for any design style you want. So it is an option you'll probably be pleased with, provided your cabinets are still in good enough condition. Flat-panel and slab doors can usually be refaced, but most cabinet doors cannot, so the doors need to be replaced. Replacing the hardware would complete the look nicely.
Thrift stores like Habitat for Humanity's ReStore receive donations of leftover cabinets from homebuilders and individuals upgrading their kitchens; they're a good place to go for cheap new cabinets and other home items. You can also call frequently or stop by cabinet makers' shops and home improvement stores for discounted and clearance cabinets that were built under contract, but the contracts were not completed. This is where patience comes into play. You'll have to know ahead of time what you want so you don't get something on impulse, but be flexible enough to accept something slightly different from what you'd planned if you find something really good.