(a) Again, this is not a typical hobbist project. This dye is relatively common because some laser researchers use it, but I don't know of a source that an average hobbist can deal with.

(b) No, good dyes in small quantity cost upward of $50/g in most cases. Good sensitizing dyes aren't easy or cheap to synthesize, and considering the number of steps and work involved, I'd gladly pay the money, although it's not exactly cheap.