There are a variety of speakers you can build for $400. Sound qualitycan befrom good to excellent.
You do not have to buy tools, either. Most places that sell wood for high-end woodwork (as opposed to lumber for framing and construction) often have a shop. They'll work for an hourly rate of $40-$60 or so or perhaps charge $1-$3 per cut. If you're just going to cut six panels for each speaker for a total of 20-30 minutes, you'll see that even $60 an hour (prorated) comes out to a very reasonable amount. You will have to give them a "mill bill" of what to cut, but that's usually included in most DIY plans. So don't get a kit necessarily, get the speakers you want and plan around it. Aside from the cutting, you'll need a drill, glue and a few clamps. Clamps don't have to be expensive and you can usually improvise by creatively stacking heavy books, weight sets, etc.
I'd recommend going with a nice singledriver. Yes, they sound good. Really, really good. One I admire is the Jordan JX92S. There is a plan for a bookshelf version at Jordan's site.
There are a lot of advantages to the JX92S. First, as a singledriver, you do not need a crossover. You just run a wire from the + and - to those positions on the terminals and you're done. Cakewalk. Next, they're super efficient. You'll be able to use some headphone amps to power them and can use those magical DHT amps (300B, 2A3, etc.) if you want. Finally, you can later upgrade the cabinets for the JX92S. When you finally have the room for floorstanding speakers, you can build full-sized cabinets that wring every ounce of goodness from the JX92S and move your drivers over for a cheap and substantial upgrade.