I'm going to say something different - I would go for a nice woven wrap if I were you... yes, they're still pretty expensive... yes, they might have a little more of a learning curve, and take just a little bit longer to get on and off (hardly though, once you get the hang of it)... but IMO they give you the most versatility, and the most comfort. Sure, Mei Tais and Ergos/SSCs are nice, and anything would be a great improvement over the Snugli! I've tried a ring sling, pouch, Ergo, and Mei Tai, and nothing is as comfy as my woven wrap... and my neighbor who has 4 boys under 5 only uses her Storchenweige now... she used to exclusively use a Babyhawk Mei Tai, but she says hands down the wrap is more comfortable. BTW, she's about 5'3 I think... Again, if you can find something used in one of the forums, that's what I'd do... I think I just saw a Hoppediz for $50 on diaperswappers... so it does happen!
I've used mei tais, SSCs, a ring sling and wraps. I wrap exclusively now, I sold all my other carriers and just have a few different wraps that I use and love. I'm looking for an SSC to add to my stash now, but more as a convenience thing when running errands with DH.
Whatever carrier you decide on, I'd check out the FSOT forum at thebabywearer.com. You'll definitely be able to find a carrier below retail price as long as you don't mind used (and with a wrap, this is even better - you won't have to break it in yourself), and you may even find both a mei tai and a wrap within your budget.