Any Suggestions on Cheap Modeling Software?

I’m a part-time fiction writer who feels the need to visualize my characters to write about them more realistically. I’m looking for some reasonably inexpensive modeling software that will enable me to create photo-realistic people (either in 2D or 3D), by choosing from a bunch of face shapes, noses, ears, hair, eyeglasses, etc., and then editing the resulting pix or models until the people look exactly the way I want. It would be nice if the software did bodies, too, but that’s not essential.

The problem is that most apps on the market cost a fortune and do much more than I need; my characters don’t need to walk and talk (as in Lightwave or 3DsMax or Animation Master). Even Poser 4.0, which is only a bit over $200, does much more than I need, and seems very complicated to use. At the other end of the spectrum, 3DMeNow ($49) doesn’t seem to do enough. Instead of using the input photo to morph into other characters by changing the facial features, it seems only to turn the photo into an 3D talking model of the same person.

Does anyone have any suggestions about application software that might meet my needs at no more than a cost of $300, and preferably, at a whole lot less?

Thanks in advance!
Audrey Liebross