Yah those prices are absolutely rediculous...you could probably install a used y-pipe with cats yourself. If you can find a wrecked 94-98 v6 you could pull the catted y-pipe off and install it on yours. It bolts onto the headers on either side and to the single pipe leading the muffler.
If you are leery of used cats, you could get the dummy cats as Straub suggested...those will solve the check engine
light and not affect the car's reliability.
12 Black GT500 SVT PP l VMP TVS l JLT123 l O/R X l 28x11.50Rx15 M/T Street R's l BMR Suspension l Recaros
03 Sonic Blue 3.8 / 17 Magnetic Fusion Sport 2.7 EB