Steve & Cindy
Not to talk you out of Alien Bees -- but two other options you should consider. For a similar price you can get Calumet Travelites. I've been using Calumets for a while. Look into the sets that they sell and you'll get stands, bags, umbrellas, reflectors, etc for one price.
Calumet's Web Site
I'd also think about Dynalights. The Dynalight Uni400 monolights are not cheap -- but if you attend one of Rolando's workshops (San Antoino on April 24th for example) you can buy Dynalights at the educational price. That brings them closer to the price you're talking about and they're very nice monolights. And the Uni's go on battery as well as AC.
Keep Shooting -- Have fun!
Done with 3 Calumet Travelites and a bit of attitude!