I may get banned from the forum for recommending such a low-end program, but if you use a Mac, you can do all this in Garageband (and more). Another possibility for the PC user is Sequel - google it. G-band is very easy to use, and actually quite powerful, once you get the hang of it.
I'd rather not spend a fortune on it either, since this is really for one or two rather small projects. If I can get away with spending less than $200, I'll be happy.
Michel, Sonar Home Studio 6 is $139 plus shipping. It is basically a stripped down version of Sonar SE, but still quite powerful - enough to do, what you want to do. I don't know if you will find it much easier to use than Sonar 6 PE, though, since the interface is basically the same. You may find, that audio tracks are easier to work with, since you don't have to bother with synths and MIDI-tracks and -editing.