things can be had cheap if you're willing to wait and you know what you're doing.
if you don't know what you're doing you better find someone you trust to help out.
if you can't find anyone best is to buy from a reputable place that accepts returns--don't go bargain hunting right away. most bargains require some sort of repairs. if you don't know what you're doing you WILL learn...it ain't rocket science and just about any problem you will encounter can be remedied with solutions found from searching these forums or asking--best to learn yourself and search though--if just depends on how much time you want to spend fiddling with stuff.
you want the least amount of problems learning the photography aspect, spend the money on a decent, known good equipoment from a reputable place--there's already enough variables in photography and iffy equipment causes problems learning. You search and you will see all the "what causes these streaks" problems that are ususally caused by faulty equipment....if you like to spend time doing that then that's your bag.
alternatively, you can build one and learn that way--a camera is a light tight box--I have built a bunch out of cardboard--they work. you can build a pinhole camera for FREE from stuff laying around the house.
RECOMMENDATIONS: a good, known working crown graphic 4x5 with graflock back--best bang for the buck--you'll keep it a lifetime. you can use it as an enlarger if you're clever. You can shoot direct positive paper in it you can put a rollfilm back on it. it folds up to a tiny box. thehy are extremely well built and have lasted for decades and still deliver.