Junkman, welcome to HM - forgot to welcome you.
If you can at all come close to affording it, look at the PM 1440GT or the Eisen 1440E. Both are Taiwanese lathes and will give you some serious bang for the buck. The difference in quality of Chinese vs Taiwanese lathes is significant and the collective experience on this forum strongly points to Taiwanese lathes as having much better quality. At this price point, it is a good idea to give Eisen and PM a call to discuss these lathes before buying.
I will offer one more bit of advice. Figure out what size lathe you need and then learn all you can about which features are important on those lathes and why they matter. Camlock spindles, bigger spindle bores, the type of gearbox, the travel of the cross slide and the tailstock ram, width between the rails, weight, HP of the motor and phase, and many other things matter. You cannot put these things on afterwards; they must be there to begin with so take your time, learn all you can, and then talk to the guys on the forum who own the lathe you are interested in. You cannot tell how good a lathe is from reading hype on a web page; the guys will tell you what's what for real.
If you cannot afford the lathe you really want then wait and save up until you can. Don't "make do" just because of money. You will not be happy in the long run.