5 1/2 hours sunlight vs 12 hours artificial

For some reason my window sill gets only about 5 - 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.  about 1pm to 7pm.  I was wondering if its bettter to use artificial light with a terranium.  How much would the total set up cost?   My budget is tight.  I recall my friends lightning set up with HID costing up to hundreds.  I'll be fine with flouro.  im hoping it wont go over 150 bucks.
i give mine like 6-7 hours morning sun everyday, from sunrise at like 7 am till like 1 pm

in my porch, they are doing fine
I would go with the sunlight if it is bright indirect light in addition to the 5.5hrs of direct. It is still hard to beat the real thing although some of the artificial lights do a good job. BTW 12hrs is not a long enough photoperiod if your plants are getting their light primarily from the lights.

You could do a nice 4 foot wide terrarium and put 2, 2tube fluorescent shoplights over it.
To answer your question about the lights, $150 should get you a LOT of fluorescents. I have five 4 foot fixtures (two bulbs per fixture), each was bought for less than $8 each. You should be able to buy inexpensive indoor shop lights at most any hardware store or even Wal Mart. I can't remember what the bulbs cost, I think the lights were about $1-$2 a peice. I did buy some of the $6 plant/acquarium lights also just to see the difference.

T. Buck.
My plant only gets around two to three hours of direct light in the morning and indirect until eight depending on the weather and it's growing like mad.
Nothing is better than sun... if your plants look healthy where they are then don't change anything. If they look a little spindly and pale then you might want to supplement them with some artificial light or find a new location to provide them with more sun light. (Wow... that sounds so official.)