Nikon and every company has always made the 50 or 40mm and 50 DX equiv really cheap. Everything else has always been pricey. They are the easiest focal length to create for 35mm.
I'm not sure if I'm following you on this. So you think you need f2.8 or don't... lost me here. Almost all wide angles go to f22.
That is a smaller lens. Wide angle lenses especially cheap ones are not small by the nature of the optics. DX has been around for almost 10years- 7 of which were pro bodies and Nikon and others decided to go with zooms for this range long ago. It may be frustrating to hear, but that is what they seem to have decided.
There are a lot of great wide angle zooms out there from Tokina & Tamron that are cheap. In photography, Cheap lenses are anything around $500. Anything under that, are gifts from heaven.
I dont need the 2,8. I just wanted to point out that they did make a wide angle 2,8 prime(250$) for the nikon 1 system that would have been perfect for me if it has been for dx. And about nikon deciding to go with zooms, they might have changed their initiative, just think about the recently released 40mm2,8dx lens and why give something to the "point and shoot ppl" that use nikon1 cameras, that is not available for dx...
Voigtlander for example has a 20mm prime for nikon for 500$-ish, maybe I'll check that out. All i want to have something that's better than the kit lenses between 16 and 20mms at f8+ appertures.