I wouldnt be so sure about not being able to craft those specific arrows.
tips for "rangers"? take a magic skill and stop thinking about the game as a class based one. It isnt really.
Of course, if you really want to, be focused, invest points into bow weapon skill and some defense skills.
Some special arrows made it in the "missing recipe" mod but were removed again. Still, the "basic" arrows are really awesome, like silver, slow, poison, stun; which can be made by more or less cheap crafting materials.
tbh; magic skills without having a decent intelligence are pretty much useless :O The only 2 schools, which offers very decent lvl 1 spells are earth & fire (IMO) - the latter only if you by any chance did NOT take the most awesome scoundrel talents right at the character creation.
Else earth is good for the slow (&kaboooom^.^), spider & fortify.
Having myself a 'pure' ranger with 1 point in scoundrel and doing great. My other char is kinda cleric with witchcraft (nasty stuff...) and 1 point fire for the speed crap.
But you are right, though ... you can play whatever style fits best.
[wouldn't spend more than 2 points into bow/xbow skills..you might regret it ^^]