A lot of people prefer to purchase a detector near to where they live. Some people like to buy them on eBay and can get a really good deal. But don't buy those cheapo ones, or you will regret it. Even though they say that they are awesome, and give them triple AAA reviews, you're better off going with a company that has an established reputation in the metal detecting community. The more expensive name brands you can resell if you don't like them, but the unknown cheapo ones, no one will buy.
See a list of local metal detector dealers by state. Good luck. (11/15/2009)