alternator for e36 1992 318i

Firstly, it all begin with the battery light randomly coming on. This all lasted for about a week. Strangely, 2 days ago NO battery light came on when i turned the ignition half way when the radio etc is on,
but the engine if off. Just yesterday, as i was driving the ABS light started flickering, the little icon thats orange with an exclamation mark came on. Lukely i was just about 400 meters away from home when the car started loosing power and i struggled to maintain speed. Next you have it, i reach home turn off the engine, tried to turn it on again; no go it just clicks, hazard lights come on for a few seconds, no go.
I had road side assist come to my home and check it out and he confirmed that it was the alternator. So my question is how much am i looking at roughly for a new alternator (not from the dealer?)
With a simple search i get various quotes, the cheapest being $180 or so, to about $1000
$200+ here:
http://replacement.autopartswarehous...rnator&dp=true
$400+ here:
http://www.autopartsonlinecanada.com...nator/bmw.html
which one is it?
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Thing is an alternator usually fails in one of two ways - regulator or diode pack. Both of which are relatively cheap and easy to replace. So most cheap re-con units are simply repaired. A high price maker's one is likely to be a complete re-build - whether it actually needed it or not. With luck, the cheaper ones may last ok.
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