Apologize for the delayed response, somehow missed your last posts.
Speaking for all of the Soldiers of this great Country, we sincerely appreciate the support!
There is a wealth of knowledge and postings on this forum. I often refer people in your situation to Kens refurb thread, as He really did his homework prior to purchasing a CJ and his detailed write-ups/pictures are second to none!
Having personally owned/restored a lot of CJ's, I would recommend buying one as complete/original as your budget will allow.
According to your profile info, you live in FL. Toy Box Jeeps ( http://www.toyboxjeeps.com/
) has a good reputation with selling clean/restored CJ's. May want to visit their shop and talk with them. They might be able to help locate a CJ that meets your needs.
Doing so should permit you to drive/enjoy the CJ immediately. It's inevitable that there will be issues that surface which will allow you to work on it (again, see Kens thread). Also, the market seems to be the strongest for original/unmolested CJ's.
Understand you may not planning on selling it, but life throws us curve balls sometimes, and knowing that you are puting money into could yield you some cash is always reassuring.
Keep us updated on your endeavors and good luck!