Actually, there is a "good, inexpensive headset" available. Shimano's Ultegra cartridge bearing headset (HP-6500) is extremely durable and less than $40. I have over 30,000 miles on one set of bearings in mine and the steering is still precise and smooth.
Unfortunately, it is available only in 1" and only for threaded forks so that probably won't help you. Too bad.
Highly recommended if it fits your bike.
I agree that the high end Cane Creeks are good and the FSA Orbit XL is also. These are cartridge bearing units so they avoid the tendency to pock mark (aka: brinell) the crown race that leads to "index steering" and spells the doom of most loose bearing headsets.
Chris King is the best available but priced WAY up there and, in my estimation, not worth the cost.
The handlebars you are describing sound like Rondanee (sp?) bars which are drop bars with the drops flared our a bit to increase wrist clearance. These used to be common touring bars but I haven't seen them advertised in quite a while. You might check the Rivendell web site and see if they have a line on these.