Jeff, there is a Tachihara in so called pristine condition on Ebay right now with no bids and about a day and a half left at $500.00. You can expect to spend about $700.00 for a nice field camera along the lines of a Tachi or Shen Hao which are at the low end of the price range.
The Tachihara is a nice extremely light weight wooden camera with a very bright fresnel screen. A Shen Hao is a slightly heavier but more stable wooden camera without the extremely bright fresnel. As far as which to buy it's a bit of a toss up.
Most likely whatever you buy as a first camera you will later sell and buy what you really want. The important thing is to go out and shoot so you learn what works for you.