I only do quality printed cards, full color front with glossy and single color black tone on the back right now I get them for like 59.00 for 1000 of them but they are shinny ;)
You could always go to your local office supply store and purchase a package of 8.5 x 11.0 sheets that are microperfed (3.5 x 2.0) and print them yourself.
Your business card is the most important piece of paperwork in your company. It should be the most expensive too! ;)
Actually, I just did that a month or so ago. I needed 250 or so cards done fairly quickly and a friend recommended Vista Prints so I tried them--supposedly 250 free cards.
I ordered them online and got them quickly in the mail; process was painless and I'll probably get them there again.
I was VERY unhappy with Vista Print...I could have done them myself in my ink jet and they would have looked more professional. Sure they are cheap, but as the old mantra goes: you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on business cards, it sends the WRONG impression.
Why were you unhappy with VistaPrint? I ordered a bunch of cards from them, and found the quality quite respectable. Mind you, I created the graphics - their templates are awful...
I have used postcardpress.com for a client and the client is very happy. One side full color/glossy, second side grayscale/matte. 2000 cards delivered FedEx 3 day was $102.00. Total time was about 5 days from order to delivery. Uploaded a pair of TIFFS and that was that.
My associate graphics designer says she has always used 4over4.com and has been very happy with the quality and reliability. She's pretty stickly about color matching so they must be pretty good.
Just a thought....
Have you considered that multiplying the time it took you to think about this post, make this post, read replies to this post, respond to this post by your hourly rate....
it's probably cost you the a couple of times whatever you might save on that $12 price? :)
Bartering works great if you can find a printer who needs some updates or content created.