You could set a command button to filter on a specific cells value. It would require using VBA code and you would still be using the built in autofilter feature. What cell would you want it to filter based off of?
Well you would probably hide the big sheet and use a template with a text/combo box and search button. The action of the macro would perform the filter on-the-fly and return the results below your template header.
I used the following macro, you will need to recreate the bits n' bobs that make it run and adjust it but it does a nice quick job on my small dataset
Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
Dim lst As Long
Dim crit As Variant
Dim clrows As Long
.ScreenUpdating = False
clrows = .Range("A" & Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Row
.Range("A7:D" & clrows).Clear
crit = .TextBox1.Value
lst = .Range("A" & Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Row
.Range("$A$1:$D$" & lst).AutoFilter Field:=1, Criteria1:=crit
.Range("$A$1:$D$" & lst).SpecialCells(xlCellTypeVisible).Copy Sheet1.Range("A7")
Sheet1.TextBox1.Value = ""
.ScreenUpdating = True