I started with an Amundson reel.. it was a beauty, looks wise. I fought a few fish with it and it was fine when fish was on, but the drifts weren't great. Wasn't smooth to let line out. It lasted 2 weeks in my box but i had a great deal on it and sold it for what i bought it.
Picked up a used Islander and bought ABEC 7s for it. It didn't need them but i bought into the whole "spin it for 8 minutes!" bull poop. Don't do that. You don't need it to spin freely for 8 minutes.
Figure out your budget, and there's a good reel in that range.