[quote=Dagumol;13522221]Go to Guitar Center and play every single one they have. Go to another guitar store and play all they have that GC didn't. Play them all again. When you play the one that has the feel and sound you like, you will know it. QUOTE]
Great advice, but take someone who knows something about basses or guitars with you, if possible. Definitely learn some things to play before you go.
I don't know if you will be able to avoid basswood at your price range, but otherwise, this is great advice.
G-K club # 602, Short Scale Bass Club #159,Squier Jaguar SS Bass # 15, Trinity House Mudslinger, OFBPOAC #23