Haha- I just spent well over $100 US on lighting for my heavily planted 10 gallon tank, and I couldn't be happier. There are retrofit kits that can be cheaper (check out AH Supply), and compact florescent bulbs aren't really THAT badly priced, so it's mostly just the fixtures that are gonna get you. The fact of the matter though is that lights are expensive, and you get what you pay for and a powerful, full spectrum light is priceless.
BTW, Blaxican, check out Crypt Wendtii, it's a nice foreground plant that does well in lower light. Also, anubias nana is a good one. It may get a bit tall for a 10 gallon foreground, but it grows REALLY slowly and can be pruned. It's just about impossible to kill.