I use the datacolor solution for my monitors. I see that adorama has a basic one for sale right now for $80. Not sure if that's out of the budget.4.8ish stars on adorama... 4 stars on amazon... seems reasonable. The complaints about x1 is about the software... so I don't know if that has improved...
There is also the Pro and Elite versions of the Spyder4. The pro is 149 and the elite is ~225 I believe. I've had luck with mine, but it's an Elite 3 I got as part of their studio package. The only software quirk I've had (running v4 software) is that sometimes I can't calibrate my second monitor. After some research I found it is an incompatibility with the NVIDIA driver. When I turn off the nvidia desktop I can calibrate the second monitor. I don't use the desktop anyway, so I leave it off.
There are lots of options out there - xrite, pantone, datacolor. Most folks respond having the xrite or datacolor solutions when these questions are asked. One thing to consider is that as monitors age, so does the color they produce. Most of these products stay attached to your computer and take light readings and either adjust as necessary, or remind you to recalibrate if conditions change enough to affect what's on screen.
Btw, good synopsis on the 12th man. The point behind the story is that even though Mr. Gill sat on the sidelines, it was is his response to be ready should he be needed by the team. That's also the basis for the 12th Man Foundation and the Aggie Network today. If you need something, there's an Aggie there somewhere ready to help you.