Just got back in the saddle myself and my story sounds like yours. I just got an LJ 05 6spd Hardtop excellent condition for 11K. There are some deals out there. Stoney Ledge Auto Sales is where I ended up......536 miles from home. Check 301 Auto Sales in Brandywine MD, they have a 03 Rubicon that looks sweet and was my second choice. I called Sean, the owner, the other day just to thank him for his help even though I didn't buy from him. He said don't worry about it, he was super happy that I had found my rig and told me I got a heck of a deal. Scour the internet, I used Autotrader and Cargurus coupled with Autocheck. I ran all vin #'s and eliminated from there. By price, options, color, and report. Took around 3 months and I was ready to travel by train and adopt our new rig. You can tell a lot about who you are buying from on the phone, believe me. Good luck to you.