The Lanikai LU-21S was my first ukulele! A slight step up in price from the Dolphin, the Lanikau LU-21 Soprano ukulele is also a step up in quality, made from all laminated wood. As for the Makala Dolphin, you can get a bundle deal that includes a case, tuner, instructional DVD, and polishing cloth for $90 here.
Like the Makala Dolphin, reviewers’ satisfaction often appears to hinge on whether it has arrived with Aquila strings. Most are pleased with the intonation. Amongst the reviews, there are a number of complaints about the inability to stay in tune – however, this is always an issue with new strings and improves over time, and should not put you off the LU-21. Very few complaints about the quality of the instrument received were noted.
Summary: The LU-21 Soprano ukulele is a great pick for a beginner ukulele (or a next step after the Makala Dolphin for a child), if you are sure you want the soprano size. It may feel small for adults (particularly larger individuals), and you may also be more satisfied with the tone of a concert or tenor ukulele if you think you’d prefer a slightly richer sound (this is what I eventually moved on to).