try mysql it free it has ASP support because mysql has the ODBC support
http://www.mysql.com

but PHP as direct access to the database server because it does not use ODBC at all. I could say that PHP is faster then ASP maybe PHP is better then ASP.
http://www.php.net

Mysql and PHP are both open source. In other word Mysql and PHP are in fast progress. SQL Server 2000 is losing ground.