The NRA basic pistol course will get your either a Maine or Florida permit. For simplicity I like the Maine permit. No finger prints, and the turn around is pretty quick. Florida is also pretty quick, but you need some prints though their license covers more states and lasts longer.
You can probably get a basic pistol and a Maine permit for $100 if you shop around.
I know the Missouri permit may cost you more in the short run, but knowing the Missouri weapons statutes, would be a big plus. If you had a Missouri CCW permit it adds another person to be counted that representatives may listen to around election time.