At the moment the CMP is mostly sold out. Field grades were $630, Service Grades $730. They are not out of guns but working to clear a 6 month plus back log. How long they last once they take orders again who knows. For a first time buyer I’d suggest an SG, best chance of a good running gun that shoots nice, either via the CMP or second hand. On second hand purchases, I find people tend to overpay for M1 Garands at local auctions, you should be able to find a nice one around $1000.
As for what they have in stock the Field Grade Specials have new barrels and stocks and should run fine. However, they do say the receivers have considerable pitting - from what I’ve seen this really varies from barely noticeable to ugly. I do not know if they have FG Specials in the store, if they do I’d pick one that way rather than taking a chance mail order. There are threads on the CMP that will give you an idea what is in stock in the stores any given weekend. Remember that like mail order, you need proof of a marksmanship activity and membership in a CMP affiliated club to buy in store.
As an aside I wouldn’t hold out hope for the Korean guns… multiple people report the Carbines were in really bad shape and the Garands aren’t much better. There were some imported in the 90s and you can find them floating about, typically for a bit less than a CMP gun due to the presence of an import mark; they run the range of ugly but function to just ugly. The 1911s mentioned above are a different matter - the Army has them in their possession right now but hasn’t released them.