The elevator brackets will make up the price with the increase of safety and reduced headaches that will result in trying to put the legs on a stand together yourself. A true carpenter could probably build a stand that structurally sound, but the elevator brackets are simple and amazingly strong.
We built 6 stands using them. They all sit on top of 14' 4x4s and have been for 6 years now. The brackets also allow you to frame up the floor with added structural safety and simplicity.
check out the hardware section at home depot (or another store) i believe simpson makes a bracket that is equivalent to the elevator bracket and costs less. simpson makes a lot of great hardware which is useful for building tower stands.
i have built a couple stands with the platform height at 10'0 and no angle on the posts. i use simpson joist seats for the floor joists, lag bolts for the rim board connections and 2x "x" bracing on the legs which makes them extremely sturdy. a bag of concrete on each sunk post makes a big difference as well.