We picked up a Fire HD8 tablet when it was on sale for $79. My wife's smartphone would not support upgrades for two of the shopping apps that she likes to use, so it was a choice of jail breaking the phone to upgrade the Android version or buying her a new phone. I talked her into trying the HD8 as it was not a big financial loss if it didn't work out.
I was able to install the Google Play store, as the versions of one of her apps on the Amazon store was not as up to date as on Google Play. She has been using it for most of this year and it has worked out well. It is small enough to fit in her purse but has a big enough display that my old eyes can still read it. Granted, the image quality is not as good as other tablets, such as my Galaxy Tab S, and in bright sunlight it can be a challenge, but for the price it is good enough. She has all the apps she wanted running, including some games she plays while waiting for doctors' appointments. Gmail is working fine, but we haven't tried Netflix on it.
Recently it has introduced a couple of features she doesn't like. There is some kind of launch program that kicks in if you touch the screen in a certain gesture, and I haven't figured out how to turn it off. Also at one point it slowed down to the point of being unusable. It turned out that clearing the cache solved the speed problem.
The only future caveat is that I have read that Google is planning on clamping down on "unauthorized" devices so that you won't be able to use the Play Store on a device that is not Google approved. Given the disputes between Amazon and Google, I suppose it is possible this might put some restrictions on software availability in the future.
All in all, it is doing what we wanted at what seems like a good price.