Thanks again to all of you for your patience and answers. They have been useful.
I found a woman who seems to fit the bill. 3rd Dan Aikido and 2nd or 3rd Dan Muso Ryo Jodo. And I talked to her last night--one of the nicest people I have ever met. As usual, a *little* less thinking and a little more doing proves to be useful.
And apparently you folks were right--my cost estimates were *way* high. The gi I saw in an online catalogue must have been the "fancy-pants" gi (no pun intended), because Heather said that the gi she has are about $40-50. I'll also check out Kiyota and see what they have.
It's not so much that finances are lean as it is that I have, on occasions far too numerous to mention, started something and not finished it. Being wary, therefore, I did not want to lay out a huge sum of money if it looks like I won't (be able to) continue with this.
Heather said what you folks were basically saying about Jodo--that the use of the Jo in Aikido is mostly defense. She said that once one reaches a green belt, one may begin to study Muso Ryu Jodo. So that's what we're aiming for (as I'd like to learn both "armed" and empty-hand defense).
So, in case you're wondering, I'll be signing on in the next week or so, and (on Heather's urging) I've talked my wife into giving it a try.
Thanks again for everything, and know that even if I do not post (since I have little knowledge from which to speak), I will be reading the boards.