Regardless of what the initial outlay of funds might be, it pails in comparison to the lifelong expenses of food, veterinary care, gas, boats, time, and emotional investment in a, hopefully, 10-15 year commitment.
If you're a gambling man, buy from the guy with the weathered "(Your Breed Name Here)Puppies for Sale" billboard in his yard. (Probably save a few hundred dollars.) Every part of the potential savings can be thought of as insurance. Reputable breeder, performance in pedigree, health etc.. Lacking DNA testing you have no idea who the Sire is besides the word of the breeder. "My dogs hunt." is a subjective statement and is again dependent upon the trust you have in the breeder. Health checks of the breeding stock ain't cheap.
Can a decent dog be found at a flea market in West Va.? Perhaps, but I think the odds are against it.
I do not have the greatest dog at the moment. Mostly my fault for not working with him enough. He now occupies the "Main Dog" slot in the household, and will for the next 5-10 years. (5 yo now.) Good or bad, he is what he is. BTW- My house has a limit of two dogs at a time. The Main Dog and the Small Auxiliary Backup Dog. The main dog is a CCR and the SABD is a WFT for now.
These statements are IMO. Whatever you do be sure to have fun and enjoy the ride.
Life is too short for cheap cigars or Bud in the can. - Grey Dog
Most of Society's ills may be traced to one, or both of two root causes,
too many people and not enough sense of humor. - Grey Dog