Apparently the Bass Fairy does exist and she has heeded my plea for help.
Yesterday on the way back from UNH I decided to drop by the local music store to see what they have in the way of used bass rigs. I spent a good chunk of time there, 30 minutes? 45? Time has no meaning when you're playing around with cool equipment you know you personally cannot afford.
I can't afford the really powerful stuff, but I do now have my eye on a particular 400w head that is out there on the floor. Even more so after the bass man said he could sell it to me for $100 less than what's on the price tag. Also learned that a good, used 115 cab will be traded in soon. Sounds like I could put together a nice rig for around $600 total. But I still need to wait until the other cab comes in and go back there with my bass and see if it's really what I want.
No sooner did I go home and call Stef to tell her about my findings, than she tells me that at the same time I was at the music store, she and another guitarist friend had been talking about my quest for new equipment and that I should go talk to the guy at the music store who I actually was talking to.
And then later on another friend came around and said he has two cabs he wants to sell and maybe other gear too. He said he'd bring it buy so I can try it out and see what I think.
Thank you, Bass Fairy.