I myself just entered the spey craze. I was lucky to know someone first hand who walked me thru the crazy process.
I also did not have the funds to by the best but wanted something that would last me until I did. I chose the new Redington rod and reel. I bought a 13' 3" 8 weight and love the look and the feel of the rod.
The new set-up was awsesome, it handled the steelies as good as the Sages and the like. The whole set-up everything included ran me about $600 dollars and it was well worth every penny I spent. Check out Redington's site and do some homework before buying.