Braid had quite a large budget though.
Sorry, but that's a cop-out. Braid is good because Jonathan Blow is a smart guy, not because 'he had quite a large budget'.
Blow said that it basically cost him 180k, yes - but he worked 3.5 years on the game (usually, a good programmer alone would cost you more than 180k for 3 whole years) and spend a lot of money hiring an artist to do all the art. Then he also had to license songs from musicians. And there are legal and localization fees.
But the game is as 'indie' as could be. Everything costs money, Blow was just adding up all the time he spent and calculated how much it actually cost him to make the game and a bunch of whiners on various forums bashed him for that.
That's seriously one of the big problems indie developers have nowadays. Even if you're living at your parents and you don't have to pay your rent or your food or shit, the cost is still there. Someone still paid for your expenses, even if you didn't. I'd be very surprised if you could push out a game on XBLA under 50k. Very, very surprised.
Braid is an awesome little game and I'm pretty sure Blow inspired tons of artists and developers out there finding out about this new market.