so guess what - we ended up buying a new car. Without realizing it - we were shopping/looking the last day of the month and quarter. They were desperate to sell new cars. We drove a couple of used cars - both 3 years old/with about 36k or so miles. We got a young salesman - he said what if I could get you a new car just a little bit more - so we asked him to show us what he had.
for about 3k more we got a car with 3 miles. I, without trying, negotiated him down as I put my coat on and started to walk out the door basically saying we were going to wait another month to decide. I guess they really wanted to make some sort of quota as we paid less for a brand new Honda Accord than we did over 10 years ago.