If learn what to look for and keep an eye out, one of the old work horse lathes can be had for a few hundred dollars. If you have the room. I see ads on Craigs list offerring those old tube lathes from Sears for anywhere from $40 to $400. Avoid those. Sometimes the old change pulley cast iron lathes are cheaper than dirt. A friend picked up a 1940's Craftsman solid cast iron with tools for less than $70, complete with stand. I bought an old Delta Rockwell high school shop lathe for $400 with a reeves style drive. The lowest speed is 300 rpm, which is just a bit too fast for large bowl blanks. Other wise it will do everything I could ever want. Weighs just over 400 pounds, so fairly steady on its feet too. Some of the newer lathes have some limitations. either with lowest speed or other items. An electronic variable speed is very nice, but the price will also be dear. A few years ago, Harbor Freight sold a lthe that was made out of square sheet metal tubs. Vibration city. They closed out 4 years ago at a final price of $89, yet a fellow has had the same lathe, with different paint marked Rigid for sale on CL in Washington DC for $350.00. Another place to look, is Face Book market place. In this area, there are about 10 wood lathes listed at any one time. I bought part of an old treadle lathe, the bed, head stock with wide belt pulleys, tool rest and tail stock for $10. It is usable, but has limitations. The Harbor Freight 12 x 33 lathe for about $320 after the 20% off coupon, is a great beginner lathe to cut your teeth on. It has a reeves drive and some limits on what it can do, but all popular accessories work with it. Don't buy cheap new tools.