What kind of camping will you be doing most of the time? If you're car camping, thus weight isn't an issue, you could go with something like the kelty Noah 12 or the chinook tarp, or even a large poly tarp. You can get some large tarps for cheap as long as you're willing to pay that weight penalty.
If you're backpacking it in, then silnylon is going to be your best friend. Lots of people swear by the superfly as it is one of the best out there. You'll spend more to get something like the superfly, but if you save up it will be worth it.
Your last option is a DIY with silnylon 2nds from somewhere like DIY gear supply. If you can sew, or know someone who can, you can save money and get a great tarp, it will just cost you some time.