Wow, your hair is very long. And if it's fine, I would think it would have to be pretty flat. As far as getting what you pay for, I'm not sure about that. I'd be afraid to go to a Supercuts or someplace like that but I worked with a woman who had hair very much like mine and that's what she did. Her hair always looked beautiful.
I think there are many stylists out there who take advantage of the curly haired community's obession with our hair and charge more than they're worth. I do think you might benefit from some long layers. You could look on this website for hairstylists in your city and go for a consult or two.