I still use mesh dividers because technically the filters are too small to provide a cycle independently for each section, however together I've managed to create pretty stable cycles. I do double up on the mesh however.
Pics of my newest set up can be seen here..
1fish2fish tank journals
(you might have to do a bit of scrolling)
The filters are actually pretty cheap IMO. I got mine off amazon.com for like $4 a piece from "That Pet Place".. so 4 filters x $4 is $16 plus $6 shipping is $22. That's pretty much the price of a decent brand of HOB filter. Then add air tubing (maybe $3?), gang valves ($4 for 2), and an air pump (you can usually get these pretty cheap)... your looking at about $30 for total set up. I think I put how much everything cost in that thread but I'm not positive.. if not I think it's in my old blog so I can look it up on there tomorrow.