hmmm...yeah...don't think it really sunk in that you're using a mouse. I've done it myself...but once you get a tablet you'll feel like you were drawing with a club.
I have the first Intuos Wacom introduced years ago and it's still working GREAT. They are so well built maybe you could find a used one on e-bay etc. Never had any trouble with mine and they are compatible with every piece of software I've thrown at it.
Otherwise there are other tablets of course...so look for pen sensitivity. Last I heard the the Bamboo is half that of the Intuos...and sensitivity is sooo important IMHO.
Otherwise I don't' use many of the other functions much (or am unaware if I do) like tilt angle etc)
I've not used one but a Vistablet offers good sensitivity (same as Intuos I believe...1,024 levels of sensitivity) and students can pick them up for under 100 bucks (US) so it might be an option.
Good luck M8!!