Howie, I felt the same way you do for a long time. I bought cheaper calls and thought that I could call in just as many geese as the next guy. But everytime I was out I ended up letting my buddies call with their high dollar stuff becuase you could tell a big difference when blowing them side by side. If you take care of an acrylic call you will have it for life. I broke down and bought a Tim Grounds Real Thang for just over $100. It took a little while to learn how to blow it, but I can run that call with confidence now. I sound better with that call than I did with any other call I have ever owned.
I guess my point is that as a waterfowler you spend a bunch of money on decoys, guns, camo, blinds, shotgun shells, etc. You might as well break down and spend $100 on a call that sounds as real as you can get and will last a life time. I wish I would have made the purchase earlier in my hunting career!! Geese aren't getting any dumber, and there sure isn't a shortage on hunters. You have to be as realistic as you can! If you ever make the jump, you will be glad you did I think!
Semper Fi, Marines