My suggestion would be to attend an NAWCC meeting or mart, and look at the lathes offered there for sale. Last time around I picked up my latest lathe, a mint condition boley complete with headstock, levered tailstock, and a full set of chucks in original Boley wooden box for under $1000.
Levins are great, too, there's a number of them for sale on ebay right now, some of them look REALLY nice and well worth bidding on.
My experience is as follows: we needed a replacement lathe and I attempted to secure an older Boley etc. What I found price wise is the ones you can almost afford need lots of work (I mean lots!)and uless you have the time and skill you may want to try checking out a new style. As mentioned the ones I checked out are the Taig, Sherline, some imports and some in the MSC catalog. For the money I went with the Sherline and it works well if you know how to cut for comp.
The one that MSC has is my next purchase. It has better runout and more precise controls. As much as I would like a Bergeon or a similar model the expenditure is not economical to us at this point but I will get one.