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If you want a good welder to learn with that you could use later professionally I would keep your eyes on C/L for a Millermatic 200. It has 250 amps at 60% duty cycle (essentially the same as a MM252, but no DRO, etc). It is a solid machine, easy to fix and can be found for $400- $900 on the used market. I have one and use it daily in my business. They will take a newer M-25 gun, or a bernard off ebay. Add A Lincoln Tombstone to your C/L search for a stick welder if you need it. $125 for that and you can weld nearly anything you want.