I'm in the same boat, except I'm looking for an IR543 for the first time. It's soooo frustratring! There was one on ebay a few days ago for $70, but I thought it was a ripoff. After searching around, I found that it was the best deal going. When I went back to eBay it was gone, and another was showing up at $180!
Then I saw the IRLinc and it looks good. However, I didn't want to pay about $130 for one (by the time it's shipped to Canada). I'm not sure I understand what you mean by requiring another X-10 controller, though.
What is the other ~$60 transceiver that you mentioned?
I recently also found out about the Insteon EZUIRT, which will work with X10. It's the most expensive of them all (~$130 - $140). However t does more than the others, so I think I may bite the bullet and get one - unless I can score an IR543 in the next couple of days. There would be no need to do all this if X-10 just went the extra mile with their NStinct remote. It's the best value universal remote, and picked up a coule at $20 or $30 when they were first launched. This will control IR devices, including macros, AND X-10 devices. However, you can't have a mixed IR/X-10 macro, which makes the remote kind of pointless IMO.