I found a good deal at a local art store that offered a basic $48 set for $26 on sale. Usually I'd jump on that kind of savings, but that $26 represents more than 1/4 of my monthly spending money. Now that my "spending" money has become my monthly SAVING money, I was loathe to part with it, even for that kind of a deal. More research ensued, and I eventually found a comparable set on eBay for $6.75...with free shipping in the US. It came with fewer pastels, but I can blend the colours it does have to make any shade I want. More to the point: soft chalk pastels for less than 10% of my monthly saving money? Yeah. I could handle that. Still, I did do more research before committing, but eventually came back to that set (even the used set on Seattle's Craigslist was $10).
Shockingly, I think I can now say I'm good for art supplies for a long while. I feel like I have a little bit of everything. Now all I need is a rebreather so I don't inhale any of the toxic fumes I use to accomplish some of my work.