A beefed up cage like you describe would be good for container grown plants in a crowded area, because it'd be easy to keep them in control inside their cages. It really depends on how much space you have to work with and how many tomatoes you intend to grow.
I use the 8' 3" wooden tree posts with a couple heavy nails in each to hold up a single strip of 4' wide heavy mesh. I leave about 2 feet between the bottom of the mesh and the ground, which tomatoes can easily reach, then they can climb up 6' or more. Here osh sells 4"x6" mesh in 20' rolls for ~$12. Add 4 posts at $4 each and you have enough for a 20' row of tomatoes for $28. I don't think you can go cheaper with new materials. Last year I used 2"x4" mesh, it worked fine for the tomatoes, but it was too tight to reach through. That wouldn't be a problem if you could reach each side of the row though.
I agree that the standard cages are lame, they can only support a determinant tomato, not an indeterminate one.
If you have a raised bed you can bolt 2x4s to it instead of using stakes, which is cheaper and can look nice.
There I have 4 panels of mesh hanging from the top bars. These were quite a bit more work than the tree-post trellises, and more permanent.