All right, I'll set the hook, guys.
Since you have flying experience, and you have building experience, It might be worth your while to get in touch with the local DLG guys. It's very likely that one of them might have an old "full sized" 1.5m DLG that they might be willing to get rid of "on the cheap." It's not uncommon for many people that compete to keep an old plane around, just for the purpose of passing to somebody that's really interested in the planes and how the competitions work, but might not be ready to throw money down the tubes. It's an unfortunate aspect of this part of the hobby that, even with some previous flying skills, there's usually a bit of a learning curve.
As RCGeorge has posted in your other thread, Shhhhh! is down in Tucson, and he's a great guy. He might not know ALL of the guys in Tucson and the surrounding areas that DLG, but I'm certain he knows most of them. For the entire time I've been involved with DLG, Dave's been a pillar in the DLG competition scene. In fact, he's the one that "set the hook" for me.
Don't expect a cheap plane to be particularly pretty, or uber-light, but the difference in performance between a mini and a full sized DLG is tremendous. Additionally, the extra size means you can get closer that magic 399ft mark, and still be able to see the plane.
If it's totally out of your budget to consider ANY other plane, it would be worth your while to look at some of the build threads of other scratch-built mini DLGs. The pods can sometimes be built with some balsa, and a little FG, and on the smaller DLG's, sometimes a CF arrow shaft can be used for a boom. Tail feathers can also be built using Balsa with FG laminated to it. If you do it "right", scratch building a new pod and boom for your wing might only cost you $20 or less, depending on what supplies you have on hand.