Cheap, reliable AK that takes normal mags, well the least common denominator is the WASR-10/63. About $400. I'd start looking at them and see if that'll float your boat.
Did for me, I got one four years ago and it's been reliable and a lot of fun.
If your budget is higher then of course look at others. And don't forget you have a caliber choice of 7.62x39 or 5.45x39.