Prosecco and Cava both fit the bill (or less bills) if all you want is an easy drinking bubbly. Call me a Champagne snob (I can take it), I just wouldn't say "better than".
Now, if you can get your hands on some Francois Montand (and it's even from France) it's around $13.99 or so, depending on where you get it, it's got some great French qualities to it without being in that high-priced Champagne region. I'm too lazy to walk over and look at a bottle to know where it comes from in France
But, I completely agree! Prosecco is a beautiful product! You'll find some with some light floral notes that scream Sunday morning breakfast in bed! Just make sure that whatever you buy is made in the:
...or something close to that, you'll know it's made in the Champagne method and not just injected with CO2.
...sorry, the "wine shop girl" comes out in me!
Also, if you don't have a traditional champagne stopper you can simply leave it open in the fridge without ill effects, for a couple days. Just don't move the bottle much. With a traditional champagne stopper I have had plenty of bubbles left after 10 days!