It was in Dec 82' that I purchased an Atari 800 with 48K - for around 600 Pounds+, Star Raiders, PacMan, 410, Shamus. I would have waited for around a year - looking through computer magazines of that time. Decided not to buy it while in New Zealand - as the importer Ozisoft - seemed to have them marked up a lot (probably due to them having to import them at retail? prices - and adding their markup to it?).
Timing is everything - if you paid a high price - you'll likely to have it sooner than everybody else and enjoy being a visionary - whereas if you bought it on sale at a cheap price - it's at it's decline that comes with it's own advantages/disadvantages.
If you had the choice of - an Atari 400 vs Vic-20 - which would you have chose and been happy with? At least with a 400 you could later sell it and moved onto an 800 or whatever - and probably could keep/run whatever carts/etc you purchased for it.
Sure - if you had the patience - you could wait a further 2 years and then buy what is the market leader / best buy - and avoid buying a turkey?
Wait too long - then you'll be in the 16-bit era, in which the 8-bit would look seriously dated.