This guy isn't actually a friend. I visit this store regularly as my alter ego guitar playing self. He freelances at the store. And I have more than one Lester....so... The advice I've gotten offline agrees; a few hundred bucks should get me something to play for a while. And I have looked on eBay and have a couple on my watch list. Here in SC PA there aren't too many stores where you can just go play a trumpet. I've seen a few nice Getzens in the 3-400 price range - I'll likely end up with one of those. There's a nice Capri cornet on there in silver at $400 and a 300 trumpet sold for about the same yesterday. I know how I am - I'll be more tenacious if I have a horn that looks nice, but I'm not about to buy another Chinese toy. Meanwhile I am off to hunt for another teacher. I think what I need is someone to just check my playing from time to time. I think I have a grip on how to practice - about 20-30 min of scales tones and arpeggios and then 10-15 min of just playing around with popular tunes.