I'd rather have a real anvil, too, but have you priced one lately?
This one didn't cost me anything, if you take out some welding rods and a nut and bolt. An equivalent 50 lb. standard anvil you would buy from a quality blacksmith supply company (you probably have one or two of those in your neighborhood) is more than $300.
Ok, so the price is a factor. But what about usability - can you do the same things with it? Well.as they say, it's as good as a real anvil, if you haven't used a real anvil. But, truthfully, I have, and I can say that it is nearly as good. Almost.
A word of warning: this Instructable requires cutting steel with a torch, and arc or Acetylene welding; at that stage, and all others, wear appropriate protective equipment.
First, you find a piece of railroad track. That may be easier said than done, especially in more urban areas. While there may be plenty of track there, I'm almost positive they don't want you pulling it up.
In the country, especially in areas where there used to be railroad tracks, it is a little more doable. You might find pieces in scrapyards, auto repair shops, antiques shops, or various other places. When they pulled the track up in my area, scraps were available everywhere. I can even show you places where surveying markers were made out of sections of track driven into the ground!
You don't need a lot of track - two feet will be oodles. You can get by with eighteen inches, so that is in your favor.
You will also need about the same length of a truck leaf spring, so, while you are poking around, looking for a section of track, ask about a piece of spring, too. Remember, dents and rust pitting on the surface of the spring will be transferred to the work, so try to find a smooth piece.