Custom Hood/Motor Ballasts

I spoke with someone today that said they can make me a custom hood for my 55
gal. tank that would have an enclosed electronic Motorola Ballast and this
hood would hold 6, 40 watt fluoresent bulbs.  It would also come with a
wooden pin ring stained to my choice.  I believe the bulbs would be held in
by snap down clips.  I never said anything, but I find it hard to imagine 6
bulbs fitting on top of my tank without it interferring with cleaning etc.
The total cost for this I was told would be $299.00 before shipping.  Is this
a fair price?   Are Motorola Ballasts of good quality and are they reliable?
 They also told me not to use Metal Haldide for fresh water tanks because
they are really only needed for saltwater tanks.  Does anyone else know of a
place that makes good quality complete hoods?  I heard Champion Supply
Company has complete hoods by Ice Cap. ?          Any help or advice on this?
 Thanks!   Jeff