How to choose the "right" wood-planer?



I NEED a wood-planer...BAD!!! I have looked online at the Big Box stores and find many types at many different price points. I am a total beginner and do not know anything about wood-planer types or brands, and which one I should get or if I should even get one from 'Big Box'...maybe there's somewhere else I should be looking..?

Can anyone tell me what to look for in a quality/not crap wood-planer that is not going to kill me on price..? I'm OK with buying used equipment but, don't know enough about them (yet) to know if I would be getting a decent deal or not.

Thank You in advance. I really appreciate any advice you have to offer.

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