The Norns DIY kit can be found on Ebay for roundabout 300€ plus minus including the RasPi and SD-card.
It is quite easy to assemble the Kit.
When sticking to the original software the interface takes a little to get used to, but you'll get the hang of it quite easily.
It is a device that is meant to be explored, so complaining about that is a little moot (no offense, I understand your sentiment). One has to grasp that it is a versatile platform, thus the patches range from very simple to "you'll have to learn a cryptic visual programming language to master this patch". But it is fun to scout for the simple patches at first and simply tinker with them.
If you aim is to implement a musical idea that is already in your head, the Norns is not for you.
That said I am also very interested in combining the Axoloti and the Norns.
Can be done in both directions. So any reports on tinkering with both, no matter how insignificant it may seem, are highly welcome!