I know the feeling. If you invest in a quality straightener, you'll probably have much more luck with it.
I bought a CHI Turbo (on eBay, so it was less expensive than in stores), and I love it. It's such a huge difference from when I was using Vidal Sassoon and Hot Tools straighteners.
I haven't straightened in a while, because my hair is in dire need of a hair cut (I think it's been over a year since my last cut), so the ends of my hair are atrocious.
If you're looking for a nicer quality straightener for less money than a CHI, I'd suggest checking out an Andis. I think they only make one, which is a ceramic, but it's very nice. My friend got hers for 25 or so from Target, and it did a very nice job straightening my hair. I did end up buying a CHI, but I do recommend the Andis if you're looking. Link