A tablet will usually run you $1500-1700+
Not that I'm spamming, But you can get one for cheap by going to dealnews.com and setting notifications to e-mail you when "tablet PC" Is avaliable. You throw customization out the window though when you order it this way.
Thats how I got my laptop for sub 1000. Its a Lenovo X60 tablet PC, and I love it. Its really helpful in Japanese class, where you have to write complex Kanji, and not really skilled with the JIS fuctions.
Plus you tend to remember things better when you write it out anyway.
My tablet is really useful for notes too. I can just write on the screen, and I can search for the notes later due to the word recognition.
No loose leafs papers to lose!