Depending on the seven segment configuration you need the I2C backpacks Adafruit sells might be up your alley. https://www.adafruit.com/products/878
I guess one of those would really help me but can't find them on local stores, already tried in the past.Importing is not an option either due government restrictions. :0
I've only marked them down for future purchase, but you might look into TM1638 or TM1640 strips. Here is a library for the chips: http://code.google.com/p/tm1638-library/Quoting from the library documentation:The TM1638 module is a module with 8x 7-segment display (8 digits), 8x 2 color (red and green) LED and 8x buttons and is controlled using serial commands. The TM1638 module is designed to be chainable. It uses only one pin for clock, one pin for data and an additional pin (strobe) for each module you chain up to 6... that's a total of 8 pins for controlling 48 (8x6) 7-segment digits, 48 buttons and 96 LEDs (48 red and 48 green).The TM1640 module is a module with 16x 7-segment display (8 digits) and is controlled using serial commands.Here is an ebay listing for a TM1638 board with 8 Leds, 8 7 segment digits, and 8 keys from a Chinese ebay vendor: http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Bit-LED-8-Bit-Digital-Tube-8-Bit-Key-TM1638-module-for-AVR-Arduino-ARM-STM32-/251116139165?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a77b0329d
Perhaps it you said where you where someone might know a local source of parts.
Alternatively, it might be good to move to a country with a less restrictive government.
Can you get any shift registers? A part that you can program like a shift register? What kind of availability do you have?