Looks like everyone here has got you sorted, just wanted to throw my .02 in.
I think it's great advice to buy stuff like a MASK new, and buy high end right away. Don't cheap out on that.
Also, there is incredible value in buying used. I had a used Axe for months and loved it. So if you're thinking of going for that I'd agree. I only got rid of it because I happened to get a VX'd clone for about the same price as a used axe. Also love my Macdev, so if you want something different, you could look at the Drone DX. Mike has a great video on it, and his main gripe is about the PSP ramping mode, which I believe they just fixed (you will have to reflash the board). New they are only $430 and can compete with the Axe.
You seem like a bright person so just use common sense when on the BST to avoid getting scammed. Cheers.