I too had a hard time finding buttons. I went to a very reputable sewing place where I live, picked out my buttons and took them to the cashier, only to find out that they were 5 bucks a pop. I could not hide my astonishment! I was so shocked, I bought them. I returned them about 20 minutes later after I came to my senses.
In the end, I ended up paying about $3 dollars for my buttons TOTAL. I went to a Ben Franklin craft store and found some. So I guess the only advicee I can give is just to keep looking until you find some!
Anybody know of some good online sources for buttons/buckles/etc?