I just bought a new Fender Mando ($285.00) it will play with the best, good sound and lots of volume. I think fender only makes two modles one electric one acoustic and I don't know if they're all good or I just got lucky with this one.
In addition to all the other good advice, I would suggest that a couple months after you buy an instrument, take it to a professional and have it setup properly. Even an inexpensive instrument can be a joy to play if it plays easy.
Good luck Mike T.