I've been using the same crappy Jay Turser (Yes, I know...) since I started playing, almost 2 years ago. I really don't know where too look though. I mostly play in the heavy genres- metal and hardcore and stuff, so I've pretty much ruled out Fender, Gibson, etc. But I want something that looks "metal" and sounds good without being over the top (skulls everywhere, too many spikes, ...Pretty much all B.C. Rich).

So can anyone recommend something that fits my tastes? I was looking at some Dean basses (The V Metalman in particular) as a possibility, but I have no experience with the brand, so I have no real judge of quality. If anyone could tell me anything about them, or any other basses that fit the bill, it would be awesome. (I'm in the < $500 range, by the way.)
i personally find shecter basses to be top notch. the stilleto is a really great bass with a lot of versatility. I wouldnt get a metalman if i were you. my buddy has one and it is a real pain. first off the thing is GIANT. i mean huge. he had to custom order a case for it because they are so big. also i didnt find the sound quality to be up to par. just visit a guitarcenter (if theres one near you) and play as many as you can and just keeping narrowing it down. im sure you will find one you like!
Thanks for the warning on the Metalman. I've been looking at Schecter for a while now, they're just slightly out of the price range I'd been hoping for (I'm in college without a job). Maybe I'll end up splurging a little if I can't find anything else.