Pete, hope you are feeling better.
I use self-watering containers (Earth Box and Grow Boxes plus a few homemade) for tomatoes, eggplants, etc., but haven't yet tried figs...mostly because I am not willing to invest that much money in housing one plant and I haven't found an inexpensive alternative that is appropriate for a large fig.
You can certainly build your own self-watering pots, but the trick is making sure that you are using food-grade plastic. In my experience, that isn't as easy as it sounds if you are trying to house a large fig, so I would greatly appreciate any sources of fig-sized, food-grade, reasonably-priced pots that anyone might be willing to share.
You do need to water from the top periodically to flush the build-up of salts.
I don't kow if you have visited Bill's place, but he has constructed a "hand truck" that is custom-sized for his pots and is simple to use. It would be pretty simple to do something similar if you build your own pot models.
In defense of the cost of Bill's pots, they are built like steel and have a 25-year guarantee. I'm just not sure that *I* will last 25 years.