Thanks to the good service of UPS (that's with one S, not that other group that leaves my parts sitting somewhere in Chicago for three days), I am now the proud owner of a solder station.
The sound from it is not too loud with the blower on, and of course when the blower is off there is no noise. It heats up VERY quickly, too. I'm used to my cheap old Radio Shack pencil iron taking 5+ minutes to heat up, and this heated up in about 30 seconds.
The temperatures are in Centigrade, so it'll be something to get used to, but no big deal. And it was $50 via eBay (the link now goes to a more expensive item by the same seller).