I bought a bench mill and it has two drawbacks.
The column bends, not a lot, but it does bend, you have to go real light on the final pass if you want it accurate, especially when cutting uphill.
If you discover you need more height under the quill you lose your X,Y position as well as the Z.
With the economic downturn turret mills aren't selling at all well. If your business is going down the tubes you may have to take what you can get so it's definately a buyers market at the moment.
There are absolute bargains to be had on ebay, well within your budget, helps if you can collect. I'm trying to hang on for a bit to see when it's going to bottom out. What's the scrap value for 1.7 metric tons of iron?