To throw in my two pennies, for 6x6 just starting out I'd definitely recommend a TLR, and with a ~500 budget, Rolleis are certainly within reach. I love my automat, and didnt spend much over 200 for it. It's beat up, but the glass is fantastic and I am always surprised with the results. I shot part of my friend's wedding with it, and when I processed the negatives I was taken aback. Another thing to consider is TLRs tend to be light and easy to use. Just a warning, with any TLR, I'd make sure to check that the focus is in sync for both the taking and viewing, and with regards to older Rolleis, definitely get a replacement focusing screen. You may lose contrast moving to a fresnel lens, but the original ground glass can be dim sometimes.