You've gotten some fine advice already. Assuming you're committed to this, and it sounds like you are, I'm a fan of getting the very best instrument you can (within reason). The price ranges you mentioned span barely acceptable laminate basses all the way to fully-carved instruments. That's quite a range! It would be best to familiarize yourself with the advantages, disadvantages, characteristics, and care of laminate, hybrid, and carved basses. The search function here can be your good friend.
I recommend starting right HERE
In the end, buy that bass that speaks to you and that feels right.