I paid 400 bucks for an old Exmark 48" walkbehind, buying it from a dealer. This thing had been welded on, and beat. It's a good machine for the money, and I could easily sell it for what I paid for it.
The deals are out there, ya gotta look for them.
I bought a used mower from a dealer 4 years ago I paid $2000 all that I could afford at the time. The thing about buying from a dealer was that it came with a 30 day warranty. I did use it and had them replace one of the hydro pumps that wasn't working very good when I got it. $400 part at no cost to me, plus no labor cost.
Buying from a good dealer can be a good experience in my opinion. You just need to look for a good dealer. By the way they still offer to give me $1500 for a trade in on a new mower. Not a bad price to only loss $500 for 4 years of use. I always try to do as much of my business as I can with them. A good dealer is worth a million.