Hey, I'm looking to pick up a violin and get some lessons starting this summer. I'm willing to spend ~$500 or so. Any recommendations? I basically know nothing about violins and am a complete newbie to violin playing. But I do know that I really want to play, and I want a quality instrument that I won't get tired of after 3 months.

I remember when I started playing guitar, I played on a guitar worth about $90 (at the very most) for over 2 years!! When I finally bought my Takamine for $550 or so, I was so pissed I didn't do that earlier. So I'm pretty sure I want to skip buying a beginner instrument this time around.

If I end up not liking violin after 6 months or whatever (I doubt that will happen), I'll have a decent violin to sell for at least half the money back, and that's fine with me. Anyway, I'm ranting. Anyone have any suggestions? Acoustic violins specifically. (If it's acoustic with a pick-up, that's fine, as long as it's not meant purely for electric.) Thanks!
Best thing? Go into a music shop (not a guitar shop) and ask the people there, or phone up the person you're thinking of getting lessons from & ask them about it. As far as I'm aware, the only thing that improves as a violin gets more expensive is the sound, so it'd probably be better to start with a cheaper one.

Oh, and electric violins are an uber-minority, so you'd be hard pressed to find one.
How 'bout a viola? I'm selling one for $300 AUD. Its basically the same except its a tiny bit bigger, and instead of a high E string, its got a low C.
Hmm.. I was unaware that cheaper violins are just as easy to play as more expensive ones. I'll take your advice, and ask the local teachers, I know two of them cause they teach violin where I take my guitar lessons.

And, as for the viola, I may get one in the future, but not now, sorry. I wanna stick with the high notes, and learn a bunch of songs specifically written for violin right now.