I just saw this site today on another forum: RiverOfGuns.com
. It's a search engine for firearms for sale on forums.
If you check out a forum that's specific to your region, you'll get an idea of what a particular gun is going for in your area. With that knowledge, you can visit your local gun shop. Your shop might even be selling on that forum, and on gunbroker.com, and at local gun shows.
One of the sites mentioned earlier is the website for the shop where I often buy guns. Sometimes their web deals are better. Sometimes they have a good deal on gunbroker.com. They go to some of the local gun shows. And if they aren't at the gun show that's going on, they run a great sale to compete with the show.
Hold as many guns as you can, and shoot as many as you can, to get an idea of what you like. Do your research. If you want a 1911, do a lot more research. Enjoy all your time shopping and researching. And then enjoy your new gun.