just a suggestion.. but maybe contact every LA. accordion builder you can and ask if they have any used boxes around...i hear larry miller sometimes gets some used boxes.....if you budget is $600 already save for a few months and get a handmade...i'm sure you can still find some made for $1000.
I've been playing the 114, pretty much daily, for a year now. Its good points are: (1) its easier to play than the Ariette; (2) assuming you get it below list price, its cheaper than a handbuilt (Marc Savoy sells them at a decent price); and (3) its far better than nothing.
That said, I wouldn't recommend the 114 for you. I bought the 114 because, unlike you, I'm not a musician. I thought the odds were that I'd throw the thing away in frustration after a month or two, so I wasn't going to buy a handbuilt. Much to my surprise that wasn't the case. If you can play your PA with BOTH hands, well, you're way ahead of where I was...
The bad points of the 114 are: (1) its tuning is way too wet so it will never give you the sound you fell in love with; (2) instead of buttons, the bass/chord box has these peculiar and awkward spoons that you will come to hate; (3) its simply not as enjoyable/easy to play as a handbuilt; and (4)its rather poorly made.
I think you will regret "cheaping out" with the 114. If you're on a tight budget its going to be that much more painful to buy a handbuilt after you've blown your mad money on the 114.
Anyway, try not to let what-to-buy get you bogged down. The important thing (to me anyway) is loving, enjoying, and playing the beautiful beautiful music the best you can. Enjoy!
I went through the same thing a good while back. I actually purchased a few old German made "antiques" that were worth nothing more than something cool to look at. In my opinion, do not waste your time and money on an Eagle or anything like that. I lost big time on those types and finally bought a 114. I am grately satisfied with it, and if you were planning on spending around 500, it is a good choice. It is too wet tuned, but you can get by in my opinion. Look out if you try a handmade though, it is a whole nutha world! Looking back, I would have definetly held off awhile and purchased handmade. Check out Savoy music center, Mark has the best price I think on 114's. Welcome and good luck!