Just posted the below response on bubbaman44's thread. Pardon the copy and paste, but it sounds as though it's relevant to your thread, too:
I started a thread about a LaCrosse 7' 2-wt here, which I fitted with a Martin 61 click and pawl reel I picked up at the flea market for $3: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review
I'm sure their 3-wt would perform about the same and can be had for under $70. I really like the action on these rods (the Axis II model) as it's more relaxed and FAR better suited to working in close with tiny flies and near-microscopic tippets. I've not fished it yet but initial lawn tests indicate it's not only a keeper, but a rod I'll purchase in other sizes, too. Nothing particularly exceptional about this rod but all aspects of it were surprisingly nice, as if I'd bought a stolen rod! The cork appears to be too high-grade for the price, and the windings are spot-on and well finished. Even the reel seat looks and functions like a solid mid-grade offering.
These rods can be found on the big auction site, via a search here, or contact Bob direct at Badger Custom Tackle. PM me if you'd like his email. While the rods aren't listed on Badger's website, they seem able to get all the available sizes and offer exceptional shipping rates.
So many manufacturers seem to be obsessed with action speed these days. I handled a Redington Crosswater+ combo the other day (9' 5-wt) and it had very little action to it. It had all the "give" of an average broom handle, which holds almost no appeal for me. An earlier model I'd cast some months ago was wispy and had excellent feel for a rod at this price point. In all fairness to Redington, I think the early model was just a plain Crosswater, with the new one being designated a "+" model.