Claudia, the server for ordering the 1880 census is not up right now. But here is how to access it.http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Home/News/frameset_news.asp
I know exactly what you mean about searching thru Ancestry census records. I think that ultimately they will have each census indexed. They've come a long way in the last year. But if you have an old fashioned modem like I do, it takes FOREVER to download the pages. That's why I jumped at the chance to buy the 1880 census. Think it was around $47, which didn't seem unreasonable to me.
You can also sign up for 1900 census, searchable index, at Genealogy.com. That's been helpful to me also.
Where in Texas are you? I have some ancestors who lived in San Antonio. PS I'm in Washington state. If you'd like to respond directly, I'm at (sorry, it's schmaltzy) email@example.com