I began my research by taking into consideration what I was truely looking for. Different models had different build envelopes, different filament sizes, different accuracy, and different layer thickness. As more research continued I realized the cheapest models for makerbot were around $1000 if you were lucky enough to find one.
Models and thoughts about them
Makerbot in general all models seem to have great resolution and control. The website blows if you are trying to find specific parts. They dont have all the parts available all the time. There is no clear list of what you need to buy. If it was all centrally located it would be way easier.
Makerbot Cupcake-(bottom left in picture)this model was very small. It is now very hard to find parts for as it is obsolete from Makerbot . Some used ones were available on ebay, but in high demand
Makerbot Thingomatic- (top right in picture)little bigger than the cupcake but still hard to get parts for. Seemed very similar except for size.
Makerbot Replicator- (bottom right in picture) huge build envelope. Great resolution and layer thickness, cost wayyyyy to high for me.
I decided next to go with the book Printing in Plastic. This is to build a White Ant printer (really just a different reprap). The directions in the book are great. The only problem? it is built out of very precise cut wood. The blue prints are terrible as they are ment to be stencils. This would only be feasible if you had an at home CNC router in my opinion! [maybe a future build for me ;)]
I had learned a little about reprap printers in my 3d printing class. I knew that the resolution and control werent the best as the units tend to be a little crude. After thoroughly investgating Reprap I discovered that it was looking like I could get under $1000!