I tell everyone this..... Use the plastic 6.5 gal Carboy from Northern Brewer. Get the psyphonless big mouth bubbler. I have been using these for a while now and found they are light and easy to carry, very easy to clean, inexpensive, makes bottling and racking from primary to secondary a breeze, easy to drop in dry hops, and they are clear (Unlike a bucket). They sell them in glass also, but I use the plastic. I would have to say that the only disadvantage I have found with these is the lid. The screw on lids have been good to me, but the new push on lids like to push up.
And your right, this stuff can get expensive!!!