Depends on what you think you will do with it in the future. If you believe
you are committed to having a lathe in you shop from now on, you might skip
the entry level machines and go for a decent mid-sized lathe. The mid sized
Jet 1442 is a fine machine (about $800 - cheaper with a good sale) and
doesn't cost as much as the larger Jets, Powermatics, etc. If you don't
think you need that much machine, look at the 12" or smaller. In our area,
lathes are pretty common in the classified ads and you might pick up a good
deal, with tools and accessories, at a fraction the cost of a new one.
What do you want to turn?
For small bowls, ornaments and spindles I'm happy with my Delta MIDI
($300 CDN, $250 for a good chuck and about $500 on turning tools so
far) but it's limited to about 9" diameter bowls.