They are nice when they are working, but they seem to be finicky and are definitely cheaply made. I've had mine for a few years now and there's only one or two games I can remember where they have actually worked correctly. I'd buy an Icom instead, and if you want something for a realistic look grab a dummy MBITR for pictures or something. I can't comment on max range, but using one with a real whip I was getting great reception on all areas of the Northern Lights field, many times better than what I was getting on my Icom.
Edit: $75 is actually a pretty good deal depending on the model. If its a 5/6 pin one for real PTTs/headsets I'd definitely pick it up at that price.
I have owned two of them, and I haven't experienced any major issues with them. Although I have with some of the Chinese COMTAC II headsets when using the TS PRC-148. Both were the original 1/4" single pin types. So finding an original PTT for them is near impossible but can easily be bypassed by using a 1/4" stereo jack to 3.5mm adapter so you can use any standard Motorola 3.5mm PTT.
One gripe I have is sometimes pushing the talk button on the side gets jammed so it gets stuck on talking until you press the button to release it. This is only if you're not using any sort of PTT or headset. Although on both of mine I haven't personally experienced this, but I have using other individual's TS PRC-148s.
But the first one I owned and used was at the first Northern Light at the Trenton Steel Mill and it worked just fine for me on the AO.
The biggest issue I had with both of my TS PRC-148s was that the H-250 handset send, but do not receive. So I just don't use them.
I do use my iCOM more than I use my TS PRC-148, only because I use an external mic with an earpiece for listening so it's a lot lighter and less cumbersome.
I would say $75 is a good deal. What's it coming with? is it coming with a PTT? Is it coming with the antenna and the antenna extender or with a blade antenna? Is it coming with a working H-250 handset?
To make things simple, if it doesn't have a plug that looks like this on the top, don't buy it:
Also, they don't work anywhere NEAR 3 miles. Lool. You'll get maybe a mile, mile and a quarter with a good antenna setup. You won't need that 3-mile power as 99% the fields in MI aren't larger than a half a mile anyways.