If you can't do it first class more or less, then don't go.
I disagree, I would rather have you go and have you expect ME to help foot some of the bill ("not going first class") than for you not to go at all.
Just my opinion.
They better do more than "expect". They better do some careful planing for the costs. Of course that is what the OP is really all about, early planning stages and getting ideas etc.
It is going to be a lot of work and cost any way you look at it and of course everyone wants to party but nobody wants to clean!
It is probably more an issue of the labor and time involved than perhaps the cost of using the buro.
Many DXpeditions cost tens of thousands to do. If the cost of doing buro cards just cannot be met, maybe it is over the heads of those involved anyway. Factor it into the equation and try to make it work out financially. If it is more a problem of being labor intense, then you are on your own I guess.
Matt KC1XX sent out 23,815 cards to the various buros (not the ARRL outgoing) some years ago for $354 in shipping costs.
Yes it costs more now, not sure how much though.
Here is the story, ya just gotta have a lot of respect for them to tackle roughly 40,000 QSL's in total;http://hamradio.ad1c.us/kc1xx_qsl.htm
There is a lot to be learned about "mass QSLing" from this article.
Talk about man-ing up!!
It could be that he looked at it as more of a challenge than a burden!