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Root Canal & Cap vs. Pulling the tooth


I am 28 years old.  About 6 months ago, my top right molar all the way in the back next to where my Wisdom Teeth used to be, broke and now there is a huge gaping hole there.  Within the hole, the exposed part has turned black and decayed, while the rest of the tooth shows the left over filling that was previously within the tooth.  Just over the past month, this molar has gotten extremely painful and infected.  I've gone to my dentist and obtained antibiotics to get rid of the infection and now have a root canal scheduled for November 20th.  That alone costs $440.00 out of my pocket, not to mention what a cap will cost on top of that, which I haven't even gotten a quote for yet.  And you can't have a root canal without a cap.  
A friend of mine approached me with the idea this past weekend of why can I just pull the tooth and be done with it?  It is already partly gone and decayed anyway.  Not to mention she said a root canal never feels quite right even after you spend all that money to have one.  So I called my dentist today to see if I could do that instead, and they told me that they really don't want to pull it as the tooth that is now below it will not have anything to press against while I eat and therefore may eventually grow upward.  (Not sure how this works given I thought my teeth were already grown in and what not.) But having the tooth pulled is only $75 - $190.00 out of my pocket.  So it is definitely more cost effective!  I need advice on what I should do here.
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