hard to find string trimmer part source??

I have a John Deere string trimmer BC 1600 (UT 15198). A friend was using it and broke off the choke/cold start lever. This makes the unit pretty much unusable. It's a tiny part, and when it happened I said "no problem, it should be easy to fix/replace." He didn't offer to take care of it, and I didn't think it was an issue to get into with a friend, if you know what I mean. I thought it was no big deal.
Working with the John Deere web site and the local John Deere authorized repair facility I was told that the lever part is unavailable and therefore I'd have to replace the whole carb. Not really a problem, because they said the cost of the carb. would be around $25. Again, for $25, I'm not going to make a big deal out of it with my friend.
Now they're saying the carb. is not available and aren't able to give me any other options.
Do any of you have any ideas - on line or by phone - where I might find either new or used parts for this beast? Thanks very much in advance. -zeke
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hi, No help form your local repair shop? They may have a broken unit you can take the part off with luck. Tony
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Give it to your friend and have him get it fixed. I suggest he go to local dealers and deal with them FTF.
On 13 Dec 2004 16:13:32 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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