I'm always being asked by readers "Is such-and-such a good radio?" While I have owned more than a few different makes and models of receivers and transceivers over the years, I can only personally vouch for about 1% of what's out there.
As far as SWLing goes, my usual go-to receiver is an Icom IC-R75. Those of you who have been to a class within the past few years have seen it, usually along with a Whistler WS1040 police scanner.
Eham rates it 4.3/5. You'll also find a manual and schematics online to download. A search of sold/completed auctions on Ebay will tell you what they sell for, which will help you make an offer (or counter-offer) to a seller. Overall not a bad choice, especially for your first tube radio that you could actually fix.
While I was at the swap meet today, I gave a little help to one of the younger (probably around 14 or so) attendees who was trying to get a 1970s vintage RS-232 terminal up an running. No one else there seemed to be familiar with RS-232. After showing him how to do a hard loopback (short pins 2 & 3), what the dip-switch settings on the back of the terminal adjust, and the difference between DTE and DCE, I told him to do a search on the make/model, on the EIA RS-232 standard, and to surf beyond the first few pages when doing so. Sure enough, he found documentation and learned that the code displayed on the screen was for a keyboard error. Turns out that DEC and Hazeltine keyboards are not compatible with each other. You all are likely packing phones with Internet access. Got a question and don't have a nearby expert to help you? Google it. You'll get enough info to at least make an educated guess. Here's another one: