You know, I totally agree. I've been studying C4D some but don't have the money to buy any 3rd party software at the moment. I guess it's a good form of creative troubleshooting and survival.
It took all day but I found a solution. I currently have 3D Stroke and was able to use three shape layers doubling the stroke for each one on top and inverted matte one on top of the other. It behaved glitchy until render for some reason but now seems to work just fine.
I sure do look forward to having a true 3D tool at some point in time though.