I have a Marlin 1984C in .38/.357 that I really like it a lot. I got it from a Mom and Pop Grocery Store/Gas Station/Gun Shop up in N.H. a few years ago. I don't know what they go for now, but I think I paid $250 for it. Great little rifle.
If it's what you want and the price is right, grab it. That story of "Big Box" retailers selling "lesser quality" guns is largely false. The gun companies aren't likely to let anything out of their factories nowadays that don't meet their quality standards. Too many greedy lawyers ready to rape them if one blows up in sombodys face. There used to be "Private Label" guns made for exclusive sale through some large retailers like Sears (Ted Williams brand) but that's mostly a thing of the past now. Some of them may have been intended for the "no frills" lower end of the market, with cheaper wood and less polished finishes, but they still have to perform up to the same standards as their more expensive counterparts.