Yeah, restorations are a labor of love, you will never get waht you put into the gun back out of it, but you do it because you want one. I faced a similar dilemma a few months ago: there was a Favorite in 25 Stevens in the LGS for $250, absolutely pristine, with good bluing on the barrel, color case on the metal, and even about 70% varnish on the wood. Very good price considering the condition, but way too high when you consider that it would need a barrel or relined in order to be shootable, so add another $300, putting the price out of the reasonable range. On that note, $250 to color case the receiver is not bad, I pay $350 for color casing Winchester receivers for restorations. So figure out how bad you want it and either let it go or dive in.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?