Before you pay for the plane(s), check the flatness of the sole with a straight edge and then check that the cheeks/sides are 90 degrees to the sole as 'ya nevva' know when you will need to build a shooting board, a handy shop-fabricated accessory.
Also check the blade depth adjustment screw for backlash. Remember: If the plane does not fit your hand it will never feel right and if it feels too heavy, it will not loose weight with use.
Now having said that, I have a few Lee Valley/VERITAS and Lie-Nielsen planes, which were ready-to-use-right-out-of the-box. More recent buyers said the same.
You just might enjoy working with a hand plane and eventually wind up purchasing a "Wonderful Contraption" --the Stanley No.55!
Useful additions to the woodworker's library are:
"The Handplane Book Buy Handplane Book at Woodcraft.com
"Planecraft; Handplaning by Modern Methods" by Hampton and Clifford (out of print)
aAailable from ABE Books -- Planecraft - AbeBooks