I just spoke with Nathan from PATC. They will have a 700R4 input shaft induction hardened for me for the same $89 cost as the 4L65E shaft. He was very helpful and said that he will set up a pricing structure for me that will allow me to complete my parts list within my $1,100 budget.
It's funny too, when he saw the Smart Tech drum, he thought "why the heck didn't I think of that? It's so simple." The same thing I thought.
I really can't say enough how much I appreciate your help and all the help I've received with this project. As I said before, when I had this trans built in 1999, there was no resource like the Hot Rod Forum. Sites like these, that allow us to share information and experience with each other are an awesome benefit of the web.
Now, I just need to work two more weekends and I'll have the money to order my parts and proceed with the buildup.