I've heard that about the spindle, that it definitely does not work for everyone. Problem is, I have no tools and none remotely nearby with which to construct a spindle of my own. (I saved the knitty gritty episode that shows how to do it...and how to spin with a spindle.) I found a cheap one at a shop nearby here--around $15, if memory serves.
I will, though, check ebay for a wheel--thanks! It never occurs to me to check ebay for knitting things...dunno why since I got by Boyes there!