Warped9 - Did you pay for the pro version to get the solid tools? Or just download the 30day free edition of Pro? If the latter, after 30 days just get the freeware non-pro edition and you can download plugins that give you the full functionality of the solid tools. No money required.
I just got the freeware version of Sketchup 8 that includes only one or two features of the solid tools: intersect and I forget what the other one was. Depending on how things progress I might even pay for the Pro version because I don't find it that expensive especially compared to other 3D programs. That said Blender is free and learning Sketchup might make it easier for me to transition to Blender.
Bottom line, though, is I don't mind paying if it's within my budget and reasonably priced.