Cheaper? How about "free" ? There is a program that comes with Visual Studio .NET called ACT (Application Center Test) that is based on VB Script and allows you to send HTTP-get messages to the server. It's geared toward load testing but lends itself to normal automation testing, too. (Not via GUI, though, all through http-get requests). It includes a script recorder.
If you have VS.NET installed you can find it under the Start menu at:
/Start/Programs/Microsoft Visual Studio .NET/Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Features/Microsoft Application Center Test
I've played with it some but not dug in really deep. If you don't have the Enterprise edition you can at least see some screen shots for it in a paper that mentions it: ACT
I didn't use TestComplete a lot for .Net applications (though this is my favorite tool for ordinal Win32 applications), but with it I was able to get an access to the internals of .Net object created from within Win32 app.