For around a grand, I would buy an old R series Schon like an R6 with a well broke in shaft and Micarta ferrule. For a little more, an Andy Gilbert. For a little less, a newer Schon.
And for the record, I think money is irrelevant when discussing hobbies. I spend what I can afford. It's no different than my non pool playing friends and their hobbies. For an example, a buddy of mine bought a Harley. When he points out my 1500$ piece of lumber, I point out his way more expensive toy. And I get to use my toy more than he gets to use his.