i remember those days, what suffering..
but srsly? pen tabs are worth it, and the one I have is super cheap too, my mom found it at BestBuy for 80 bucks.
the only bad thing is the slippery texture you get when you draw with it, I have to tape a thick paper over mine to get a realistic texture so that my lines come out less shakily. i hopes you get one soon though. :}