I am also new to Coffee Snobs, bit the bullet last weekend and as a first purchase bought the Breville Ikon BES400 @ $129. A bargain I thought for the machine.
Only made a few coffees with the pressurised baskets, but will keep mucking around for my first machine. Definitely better than instant!
Went to both the Breville and Sunbeam Seconds shops in Redfern/Alexandria area in Sydney. Both had a great range of machines from budget to expensive Sunbeam 6910 @ around $489. Also had grinders, knock boxes etc. No Sunbeam 0480 grinders in stock though until April.
Seconds machines may be display units, demos, damaged boxes, and possibly repaired machines but do come with 12 month factory warranty.
I am sure others have bought from seconds stores and have had no problems.