NEARFEST in Deerfield, NH is coming up in a couple of weeks. The club has a major display both days and many of us will be there if you would like help shopping the used gear. You could also help man a table for a hour or two or get on the air with the GOTA HF station.
I got my new FT60 at HRO at NEARFEST for $130, they often have a Fest discount. If you still have the broken FT-60 you could bring it to my QTH and it is likely we can repair it provided it isn’t completely crushed. I’ve replaced boards, displays, and a case on several of these. The parts were all under $40 from Yaesu.
I’m baised and think the fun is HF. VHF/UHF can be fun with high gain antennas, hill tops, and satellite tracking stations. I like the idea of EME. But I find hitting the local repeater with a HT is just not as exciting as HF.
I would suggest getting a HF rig as a way to become familar with it to prepare for the General, and maybe a baofeng for VHF/UHF to hit the local repeater. Something like a Yaesu FT-450D or similar.
Untill then check out websdr.org You can use some really nice stations to scan the HF amd SWL bands for free with just a wifi connection and smart phone.
I hope you can make it to NEARFEST..