My local dealer has the new 2012's for $3,599. A buddy of mine got one for $3,600 OTD. From what I've seen that's a damn good price for a new 2012. A couple months back they were going for $4,299. But that was before the new 300's came out and caused 250 prices to drop
Idk, my first bike was a 09' 250. My wife and I have never even rode dirtbikes before. I'd say I have 6,000ish miles under my belt on it so far with no problems and I've been pushing it real hard in the twisties. Wife probably has 3,000 miles and hasn't had any spills yet.
Just because your a new rider doesn't mean you will drop it learning. I figure ill spill it eventually, but not every new rider drops their bike.
I got into some gravel around a sharp downward right corner a couple months back and the bike broke loose and slid over into the other lane before I could get my bike to regrip the road. Scared the shit outta me, but I learned from that and know just how far I can push this little 2fiddy now. Also learned to know your road before you push your bike around corners you don't know well.
I still say spend $3600 on a new bike vs. $3000 on a used one. dropping a used one doesn't make the damage any less drastic.