Your are gonna have fun with this one. Most good outfitters are booking out at least a year in advance, ie. the bookings for this year were already gone last year. There is one salvation. Colorado has a little thing called Ranching for Wildlife. The ranchers get permits to be used by their shooters. Helps a bunch but may not save you.
Also DOW has made several changes from the 1999 season. You will want to check them out.
Agood elk hunt is going to run over $3000.00 and in some cases go to $10,000.00. This could be your hunt of a lifetime. Don't rush it. Plan, plan, plan, "excicute"
I could suggest some outfitters etc. but I need a line on how much you want to spend. From that point, if you want to go this year, it up to luck of the draw. Speaking of which, you may need to be in that.
PS: What about Wyoming or New Mexcio or Utah