Ah, you don't as for much!
My best suggestion is that you visit a Sponsor close by in Sydney - there are a few, just go for a flick through the Sponsor's area on the front page, or do a search with Sydney Sponsor in the CS search area - and go have a play! Even Non- Sydney Sponsors wil freight machinery to you, so if you know what you want, contact all Sponsors and give them the opportunity to get your business. As soon as I got into the serious side of things, all my coffee machinery has been freighted because I have my preferred Sponsors who have looked after me.
The problem is that everyone's got their favouritest, but it may not be your favourite, if you know what I mean! $3.5k should get you a good machine and grinder and, at that price point, they will be reliable.
The good thing about buying from a Sponsor is they will look after you with after sales service and, quite often, if you mention you're a Snobber, will throw a few extras in, or give you a better price.
I have a Nuova Simonelli Musica and Macap M4D Grinder (just upgraded the grinder this week from a Macap M4) and love them both to bits.