Look at craigs list in your area for older machinery, the biggest dissappoint I've had was hearing from a friend that someone he met at a yard sale had a nice old large lathe for sale cheap. Well as my luck would have it, my buddy couldn't remember his name or anything else. Why even tell somebody something like that, just stick a knife in me.
All I have is a chinese 9x20 lathe, and a chinese mill/drill, if you can get something american made for the same money get it, if not get what ever you can. I got what I did because I got tired of looking and I have a gun safe full of the products of my effort. With my meager tools I've made a flat bending jig and made several ak's (my friends have made many more on it), I've machined the internals to 4 semi 1919's, and I finished my semi Soumi M31 this summer. My point is you need your own machine tools more than you think.