Sorry if this is already discussed...try your local bike shop. Great one near me and I got a Rockhopper 29 on sale because the shop carries Specialized (and Kona and something else). They always discount the previous year quite a bit too, although I bought mid season. Way under 1k and they've done at least 3 free services on it when I take it in. I expect to pay and they just say not to worry about it. If you find a shop you like, try to get it there.I just need a bike for bike paths and some dirty bike paths, so well under 1K is plenty. Like a GT Aggressor is perfect, nothing spendy but not bottom barrel.
You can get spendy in a hurry, but I was/am just starting out.