Cheaper alternatives I've seen include lecterns, podiums, drafting tables, and desks made out of cardboard. Basically anything that allows the desk surface to be ~48 inches or higher.
Others use a bed tray or laptop stand placed on top of a normal desk.
I'm looking for something that:
- Is relatively inexpensive, preferably less than $100
- Can fit a laptop and mouse pad comfortably
- Does not look particularly ugly (like the cardboard ones)
- Would not look out of place in a living room (like the pulpits)
- Stands on the floor
- Easy to assemble
- Doesn't require carpentry (I prefer to buy the desk, not build it).