AF-Assist options for pro bodies
Fortunately for yourself you live in the cheap as chips US of A! In the UK we are looking at (the equivalent of) $400 new and $300 used - I'd rather buy a new/used speedlight with that kind of cash! Maybe I'll see if any friends are visiting the states soon - I'd pay the prices you mentioned happily!
In other news - at a gig last night, I tried deactivating my dodgy SB800 so it just uses the AF assist and that works great! I then tried to hook up a remote to the sync socket to fire remotely like this, only to find the sync socket won't trigger when the sb800 is set to not fire, GRRR!
Doesn't look like there's any ingenius answers that I was missing then
Light is Light, its what you do with it that counts http://www.gbmultimedia.co.uk