OK, I'll admit stuff costs too much...
Just the other day someone mentioned to me he was going to forego a self-steering gear because he'd have to pay in excess of $5000 to get a good one and if he could not have "the best" he'd simply make do with a used underpowered, prone to failure, and non-user serviceable tillerpilot he could get for $200 at a nautical swap meet.
Do I detect a certain failure of logic somewhere?
For an example of where such logic may leave you, check out this post about a guy who needed to be rescued and lost his boat due to the lack of a self-steering gear... He thought he had to have the best as well.
Today I looked for a few minutes and found several Aries gears for under $1000, an Atoms for $1250, and a Sayes rig for $750... All in good shape and all top quality self-steering gears. I expect with a little more searching you'd be able to find one for even less.