I am not much of a shotgun person, having had a few different shotguns that I purchaed and acquired in trades: Remington 870 Wingmaster and Express, and Mossberg 500's with a whole bunch of tactical stuff. My last Mossberg has been traded, so I am in need of another. I will keep it mostly for home-defense and would hope to use it for hunting one day, if I can find time between bike, GOLF, etc. etc. Based upon what I read, the major difference between 500 and 88 is 1. materials that some parts are made of: steel vs. aluminum. not quite sure if aluminum is necessarily bad. 2. some parts are made in Mexico even though both are assembled in the US Having said that, if I were to purchase a brand-new one online, what would be the best choice and how much should I spend so I won't feel like I over-paid? I don't plan on bubba'ing this one, maybe purchase another barrel and have 28" and 20"/18.5". Your input is appreciated. However, please keep your answer between 500 and 88. I know how it can get off track easily.