If you are looking for numerical metrics I think the following are popular:
Price/Earnings (P/E) - You mentioned this very popular one in your question. There are different P/E ratios - forward (essentially an estimate of future earnings by management), trailing, etc.. I think of the P/E as a quick way to grade a company's income statement (i.e: How much does the stock cost verusus the amount of earnings being generated on a per share basis?).
Some caution must be taken when looking at the P/E ratio. Earnings can be "massaged" by the company. Revenue can be moved between quarters, assets can be depreciated at different rates, residual value of assets can be adjusted, etc.. Knowing this, the P/E ratio alone doesn't help me determine whether or not a stock is cheap.
In general, I think an affordable stock is one whose P/E is under 15.
Price/Book - I look at the Price/Book as a quick way to grade a company's balance sheet. The book value of a company is the amount of cash that would be left if everything the company owned was sold and all debts paid (i.e. the company's net worth). The cash is then divided amoung the outstanding shares and the Price/Book can be computed. If a company had a price/book under 1.0 then theoretically you could purchase the stock, the company could be liquidated, and you would end up with more money then what you paid for the stock. This ratio attempts to answer: "How much does the stock cost based on the net worth of the company?"
Again, this ratio can be "massaged" by the company. Asset values have to be estimated based on current market values (think about trying to determine how much a company's building is worth) unless, of course, mark-to-market is suspended. This involves some estimating. Again, I don't use this value alone in determing whether or not a stock is cheap.
I consider a price/book value under 10 a good number.
Cash - I look at growth in the cash balance of a company as a way to grade a company's cash flow statement. Is the cash account growing or not?
As they say, "Cash is King". This is one measurement that can not be "massaged" which is why I like it. The P/E and Price/Book can be "tuned" but in the end the company cannot hide a shrinking cash balance.
Return Ratios - Return on Equity is a measure of the amount of earnings being generated for a given amount of equity (ROE = earnings/(assets - liabilities)). This attempts to measure how effective the company is at generating earnings with a given amount of equity. There is also Return on Assets which measures earnings returns based on the company's assets.
I tend to think an ROE over 15% is a good number.
These measurements rely on a company accurately reporting its financial condition. Remember, in the US companies are allowed to falsify accounting reports if approved by the government so be careful. There are others who simply don't follow the rules and report whatever numbers they like without penalty.
There are many others. These are just a few of the more popular ones. There are many other considerations to take into account as other posters have pointed out.