Welcome to CoffeeSnobs mate....... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
If I was in your shoes and forced to tighten up my budget, rather than opt for a new espresso machine and the use of a hand grinder, I would pool my resources and go for the best grinder that I could buy. Then, either use a Plunger, Moka Pot, an AeroPress or what have you as the brewing medium. That way, so long as you use high quality, freshly roasted beans only ground immediately prior to brewing, you get to enjoy the best flavours that coffee has to offer 8-).
Having a decent grinder is waaayyy more important than the brewing method used and you can always save the pennies and buy an espresso machine further on up the track but without a decent grinder, an espresso machine just isnt going to be able to perform. Go for the grinder first mate and leave the espresso machine for later, you wont regret it from a quality coffee point of view.
Cheers Ben :),