Well, small miracle...I sat down this morning to complete the passport application, and when I got my current passport out, I realized it doesn't expire until January 2013! So that means I don't have to renew it now for China. All I need is one blank visa page, which I have. Granted the pages are pretty full, but one blank page will do it. I'm certainly not paying the $82 to add pages now when I'll be paying $140 next year sometime to renew the whole thing!
So now I don't feel so bad about spending the $366 to upgrade my seats. Somehow it balances out!