I just bought Ion Curl Creme from Sally-it was cheap-around five dollars. They have two types. The type for fine hair comes in a tube, and the type for coarser hair comes in a tub.
I really liked the one for fine hair. I used a strong gel over it (Aquelle Extreme Hold, also from Sally's ). I got really good curl definition and my hair didn't feel producty.
I'm always looking for cheaper products, so I hope this helps!