With the very greatest respect Peter 6 grand is not 5 grand.
There are various budgets but there is a bottom end for a serviceable rib. I'm sorry but I heard all this stuff when I started looking, and just like then he asking proce for the things on offer start creeping up, or things get posted from ebay which are at two and a half now, but with "Reserve not met" written under them.
Ribnet is a great resource, and I love it here. Hell, I'm spending my Friday night here! But you all look at stuff with different eyes to the newbie. You all have the knowledge and the storage space to have 3 boats at a time with one of them upside down, and do up knackered old boats etc etc. But is someone comes on here and asks if they can buy a rib for 2 and a half grand they aren't generally talking about a 'project' they're talking about a boat... that they can go boating in/ on.
And to refer back to the OP again, if you're in 'the north' you don't have as much choice as you southerners have, at least not on the doorstep. You need to be pretty damn sure that it's a goer before you drive 250 miles to look at the fecker!