From personal experience low angle planes work really well on the the end grain, but tends to tear out quite a bit on the face grain in figured wood. Since you can only afford one plane, go with the low angle and get at least 2 or 3 different blades. Keep one blade at the stock angle (about 25 degrees) and grind the others to a steeper pitch. You might be able to buy some blades with this steep pitch, think its called a York pitch (about 38 degrees if you want to regrind yourself). For really figured wood that has a lot of reversing grain go with a 50 degree grind angle. What your looking to do with that high of and angle is create a Type II chip. Means the wood shaving fails right at the micro bevel of the blade instead of up higher at the chip breaker or cap iron.
Might have to fool around with the angles that you grind at cause it depends a little bit on what's the bed angle of your plane. Most I've run into are bedded at 12 degrees.