If you can catch an eBay auction of HiRocks.Com you can get rock for closer to $0.85 - $1.00 a pound shipped. This is dry base rock, not live rock. I just got 60 lbs for $28 plus shipping ($30 for me). I feel the same way you do crage34, I can't see spending THAT much on live rock. I'm going to end up doing 60 lbs HiRocks and 20 lbs Liverocks.com for my new 29 gal
tank. Probably way too much base rock, but for the price it's hard to pass up.
If anything, I've read that patience is the key to SW
system, so I'm prepared for the time it'll take for the LR
to seed the base rock.