I don't have any expensive carriers, either. My personal budget is pretty slim. And that's ok! I've tried some spendy ones, though, courtesy of friends who do have them and our group library. Our library has a spendy WCMT, and it is definitely worth more money than a basic Babyhawk (not that there's anything wrong with BH - I have one). The fabric is just softer, it's more supportive without being heavy or stiff, etc. And, it IS a really high quality WAHM-made WCMT. Most of the conversions are WAHM businesses.
As someone who sews a LOT, the work required to make a WCMT is hefty. And, because those wraps are expensive (and often hard to find), their materials cost is higher than something like BH. Also, the liability insurance a carrier maker needs to carry and the cost of safety testing their carriers isn't insignificant.
It can be tough if the carrier you want is way out of your budget, but there are plenty of awesome carriers (of all types) in every price range - wraps included. Some of the really rare handwoven wraps may be out of reach, but there are other really lovely and functional ones out there.
If you want a woven wrap at a lower price, check out LennyLamb. Their brand new prices are pretty reasonable, and we have a leader who has (and loves) one of their cotton/bamboo blends. We're probably going to add one to our group library soon.
Mommadee, not sure where in MA you're located, but if you want to check out our group library, we'd love to have you! http://www.bwiboston.com
. We have a meeting on Wednesday.