I thought I was too poor for a wheel, but keep an eye on ebay. You will be suprised.
RE: the spindle. I've seen folks who can rock a spindle, and then folks who make fantastic yarn on wheels but can't spindle for their life. I am of the latter group. I would really suggest making a CD spindle (with 2 cd's for weight) before buying one. I have a nice Louet spindle that I am giving to my nieces because I stink at it.