Yeah, you can get up to 80km on a passive unit using SFP+ and up to 120km using XFP. To cover the distance you are considering, you would need to insert an amplifier. Depending on the number of channels you require, a passive solution with an amplified would still be less expensive than an active solution. When I was conducting my research, I could not find an active solution under $25K.
Any tips on getting other people to use colored optics or is it not the issue that I'd expect it to be? This particular application would be to connect two datacenters together over dark fiber and transport customers across as needed. I could see it being a little difficult to get someone to buy special optics (even if you can source generic ones) for your route. I wouldn't have an issue, but then again, I'm fairly easygoing... and "thrifty."
Another scenario before me is within a datacenter when trying to save on cross connect charges. Spending a few thousand bucks once sure beats $300/month forever. I'm working with several other ISPs, some of which don't want another entity to be between them and their upstream. [Cut rambling short.]
I guess the short of it is, active solutions are expensive, so do that or don't. I did get an AlcaLu quote under $25k once, but it wasn't far under.