I may have a shipping code for free shipping from HBO: SHIPIT! Don't forget the exclamation, won't work without it.
In addition to the ported better bottles that are still on sale at $9.99, I find their Avangard malts at $1.50 per pound are not a bad price. Otherwise, most pricing is in line with other mail order brew suppliers.
You would need the Racking Adapter $34.99 and Simple Flo Valve $19.08 for the port. I already have them, so not an issue for me, but no doubt, quite pricey. I guess something could be rigged up, the port hole is 3/4", someone here once said the valve from the Mr. Beer fermenter fit. But the nice thing about the original is the dip tube which can be rotated to just above the trub.
In case someone wants to pursue these and plug the holes, the BB port I'm measuring is 19.5mm. An M18 bolt will mostly fill this hole with some minor slack. You might also try opening the hole a bit with a file and accommodating an M20 (this is what I would do, its nice having a tight hole available ), tee hee. McMaster has SS bolts of both types in a 30mm length, you would need the fully threaded ones. With matching stainless washers (not too large, we are dealing with curved surfaces here) and neoprene gaskets and a nut, you may be able to plug this hole nicely for about $10. I'd throw in some o-rings also in case the washers don't do the job (they may not). McM is weird about shipping, you don't know what it is until they prepare and ship, but I have found them to be fair. I think you may be able to get the hole plugged for about $10. The BBs are nice. I have been using them to get 6 gallons of RO water from the supermarket. Two 6G BB get you 12 gallons, about enough to do a moderate gravity 10 gallon batch with 20lb or so of grain.
Of course, you could just buy an unported bottle for about the same price.