Dave, a vintage Stanley 60 1/2 can be had for fairly little, $25-35 or so. Less if you get lucky at a garage /estate sale. You can then put a thicker blade from any of the good vendors on it if you wish, but you do not need to. You could post a wanted to buy here, and see if you find one.
I would not buy an Asian made Wood River myself. I'd rather have an older USA made Stanley, or a new USA made Lie-Nielsen [or Canadian Veritas]. I can assure you that any of those will be worth close to or more than what you pay for them in the future, I wouldn't believe that on the Wood River.
Another option for you would be to buy the smaller LN 102, low angle block plane in iron, that goes for about $95, including shipping here:
It lacks an adjustable mouth, and you adjust the blade laterally by tapping or shifting it gently, but it is one sweet plane.
I have no financial interest in any of the above.
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