I was kind of in the same position as you and wanted to get a good joystick but wasn’t able to due to the demand. I had decided to make my own. Using Toodle’s Cthulhu, making one didn’t seem too bad, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing the case. After missing out on getting an NAS from the last batch that sold out in 10 seconds, I lucked out and managed to get a fully aluminum arcade stick case from a guy who was selling his stuff on the trading outlet as well as a JLF and some buttons. I spent a good $150 then for everything. In addition, I’ve put money down on different colored buttons, an inPin converter, one of ShinJN’s AXISdapter’s, and all the little things like wire and terminal blocks. Luckily, I have a Sixaxis controller to sacrifice, but that set me back $30 a few months ago also. I am guessing by this point for that stick alone, I’ve put down about $220.
Then I managed to get my hands on a 360 TE, and have put down more cash as I try and mod it with a UPCB. Since Toodle’s was out, I had to buy a board from another guy and all the parts to the kit separately. I am thinking that, aside from the $173 I spent on the stick, that I’ve sunk another $80 in the parts to mod it. I swear, my wife would kill me if she paid more attention to our bank statements and knew just how much I was spending lol.