It's a little more complicated than that, but...yes you can DIY
your lighting and save tons of $$. The ballasts that I like for PC
bulbs...you are talking PC
and not NO bulbs?...is the Sylvania Quicktronic. I have never found them for $10 though. You'll be better off to use an electronic ballast...less heat and longer bulb life due to the higher frequency.
BUT, what do you intend to keep in the tank? What size tank is it? All this matters when you're planning the lighting system. What you may run into, if it's a large tank, is that it's cheaper to buy one or two high output ballasts than a bunch of smaller ones.
As far as getting ripped off, you'll find that there is an active group of DIY
folks here who will attempt, usually successfully, to build about anything. Post your ideas about building the equipment for your tank and we'll try to help you avoid some of the problems we have encountered. And...$200 is actually pretty cheap for a reef lighting system
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