Active noise cancellation is expensive.
I think you might be referring to noise isolation (i.e. earbud creates a seal in the ear canal to block out outside noise). I wear Sennheiser CX400 earbuds on the slopes. They're durable and they don't stick far out of the ear so if I fall on the side of my head (rarely), it doesn't hurt. I can sleep in these...
But yeah skullcandy products blow. I've had two die on me (smokin buds and FMJ) in 5 months. Sound was bad too. Budget earbuds I'd recommend are JVC Marshmallows and 2XL Spokes (2XL is made in the same place as Skullcandy, but they sound better for whatever reason). Both can be found for around $10.