Actually, $3,000 isn't out of the picture. You didn't say where you are flying from... I'd call a travel agent, don't tell them you have $3,000 to spend on the trip, and see what they can come up with for you. That doesn't mean all travel agents would spend your $3,000 only a majority.
You need to talk with someone you can trust, like Barbara K from this board. I think she is quite honest and will explain your options.