Wow, are you me? I'm in the same boat looking at it the same way. The Illinois permit is just too damn expensive. By the time you jump through all the hoop's you've basically wasted the price of a new handgun on training and fees along with blowing 18 hours of your time on a diminishing skill. I'd much rather get the permit cheap and spend the 4 months it takes to get, along with the money saved on range time or gear to actually do it right.
Yep we are on the same page and I'll bet there are many others who would take advantage if the law ends up allowing it. I waited for IL to get concealed carry for years and had high hopes for a reasonable law but I'm just not going to jump through the hoops, time and expense that I feel are unnecessary. Compared to other states, even the ones surrounding us, IL is taking advantage of it's law abiding citizens and I just can't bring myself to bend over.