Not a lot of local experts hanging around in any State here in the US that will be able to make an iaito properly. If they are qualified I would expect them to be making Shinken and even then I personally would be skeptical buying a live blade from them. More than likely the OP would spend a lot of money on some thing that was not appropriate for his study of iaito. It is so much easier to listen to your teacher and get his/her advice on the iaito that they recommend. The advice given by Hyoho, Chris, pgsmith, myself, etc. is very sound and we are all trying to save the OP from wasting money.