For some reason, because we had planned to do cloth, it did not occur to me that we needed a diaper pale. I did end up purchasing one at a mom 2 mom sale for $3, but I also had delusions that I would be willing (and at first able) to take baby upstairs every two hours and just use the one changing station we had set up there.
We ended up purchasing a second diaper pale so we had one on each floor. To complicate things, we use disposables at night and other times, so we need a place to put both disposables and cloth diapers. We actually just use small trash cans with used plastic grocery bags as a liner. They usually do not smell bag and when they do we just change them. The cloth diapers tend not to smell bad either (unless they have not been washed in awhile) since we rise out the poop right away (we do only have one diaper sprayer and it is downstairs).
Both pales do have a place for you to put deodorizer disks, but I don't think they made a difference.
I have heard people swear by the diaper genie, and they don't seem to be too bad when purchased used, but there they get you is on the bag refills.
So, in conclusion, if you are just doing cloth, you need somewhere to keep the diapers between washes. If you are doing just disposables, a regular trash can may work for you, unless your baby has really stinky poo. If you are willing to get just any old diaper pale and are not turned off by getting one used, you can get them for under $5. Most places will have smaller ones new for around $10.
What type of diapers do you use? Do you use a pale or a regular trash can? Do you own a diaper genie? If so, what do you think?