We got so lucky on this one. I've also found some amazing deals by stalking stores' weekly ads and the good fortune of being friends with people who work retail. I also think that holding out for something you love, at a price that you're comfortable with always pays off in the long-run. Even if it means pushing thirty and eating your mac-n-cheese under a paper light for a while :)
Oh, and I still love my paper lantern- we're going to hang it in our baby girl's room, where it'll be much more age-appropriate.