Until recently, I had never used sticks/ poles. I purchased the "Costco" trekking poles, and used them on my Grand Canyon hike, and they held up very well. If your local Costco had them, they're $30 or available from Amazon for $40. Search Cascade Mountain Tech.
These are carbon fiber, so they don't meet everyone's requirements, but they come highly recommended by a lot of sources, and I used them to pull myself out of the Grand Canyon.