You dont have to have an expensive soldering iron to be good at soldering. You just have to use lots of flux 👍
In all reality, I think Hakko's are a pretty good iron. I paid ~60$ and got one of these combo hot air/ iron units and I can say that both parts work great. No regrets here.
(I do however 100% recommend brass wool over water and sponge. The constant temperature shock kills your tips faster then you think.)