Sell682, where are you located? Am well aware that if in Australia, O/U is legally your only option.
Your rationale sounds much the same as mine was. FWIW I elected to go for the (Turkish-made) Mossberg(-branded) Maverick Hunter O/U. Can't speak to mechanical reliability yet - too early - but it fits me well and I am certain that whatever I miss is 99% my fault. This seems to imply that the genre as a whole ($500 Turkish O/U) has something going for it, and if they can sort out the reliability issues in the long term, they may well carve themselves out a nice little niche.
That this sort of gun will not do for a day-in, day-out trap gun with huge volumes of shells passing through it is a given, but anyone who gets to that point knows they need a better gun anyway. For the beginning shooter who isn't sure how much they're going to play but for whatever reason is obliged to bring his or her own gun, it seems a good bet.