There are a couple other popular coonhounds to think about. Black and tans, redbones and english coonhounds are all pretty popular for raccoon hunting. I can not speak to price but those are some examples of some other breeds.
I don't here much about coon hunting anymore - is it still popular or has the sport waned a bit? What are the differences in the breeds? Why is one better than the other? I don't know much about hunting dogs. I have a yellow lab, but he is not a hunting dog. The only dog that I know that would rather be inside on a nice day instead of outside.
The only guys still coon hunting now are the ones that love the sport. There is no money in it anymore so most people have stopped doing it. Any dog that can trail and tree game can be a coon dog but the hound breeds are best at it. Some cur dogs are good too.
Anyone who shoots a sabot bullet has had the problem with loading the next round with a dirty barrel we have all struggled with it.
Between muzzleloader shots I have done some research and testing on my own to find out what works for me for the next shot. I have been using a product called bore butter and when the muzzleloader is just sitting around I leave it caked in the barrel for protection. Have also found that if I lube my sabots with bore butter they really slide nicely down the barrel....