$1500 is generally always my budget max, with the exception of JP, which I paid $1650 for.
For $1500, quite a lot of games are available to you, despite what you may believe. And if you are okay with the idea shopping out a game, You can get a decent deal for $1500. Pretty much all System 11 games are on the table at $1500, most DE games, and some earlier SS games for even less.
My vote would be a good clean working Pinbot or a working JP if you can find one at that price.