There are a number of builders who will build you a excellent high quality cane rod for under $1000. Most will be hand planed and you should be able to get your rod in a few months. Getting a rod from one of these part-time builders is a joy indeed. I would highly recommend a visit to the chat room on thursday evening, at any given night there are 6 or more builders there. You can ask as many questions as you want, they enjoy sharing thier expertise and will help you the decide which taper/style you want. I'm not a fan of buying the mass produced Chinese stuff, however they are getting better.