A lot of people like the Cartels, and Union Forces have gotten a lot of love on these boards. I've seen a lot of recommendations for the Rome 390 Boss
. Most boots and bindings will work with each other so you don't need to get the same brand for both, just make sure your boot fits the binding you choose.
I'm in that same $700 gift to myself versus rent and bills next month conundrum. What can I get for a gently used kidney these days?