This is a very true statement. Corporate identity must be reflected in the logo branding. This is big business and companies can spend many millions developing their ID - but I think any company large or small that has a public face, or something to sell, should develop a good brand. Logos form the basis of inspiration for the rest of the company artwork and can help make and shape the future of a company.
There are some excellent books out there on graphic design and logo design - these would be a good place to get an idea of what you want then approach a reputable local design firm to get your options drawn up and be prepared to pay well. $400 is pretty cheap by any stretch.
Another tip would be to go to the summer design exhibitions of newly graduated designers and pick up a few cards - offer them portfolio expanding experience and crate of beer.
that or get a freind with a good imagination to do something for you - Richard Branson did this and look at Virgin!