Personally I wouldn't spend that much on such a small bike. That 500 engine has been around forever - all Suzuki did was wrap the GS500E with a fairing and call it the "F" model.
You should be able to find a nice Bandit 600 for that same price - or even a 1200 if you look hard enough.
Have you checked KBB? For my zip code retail is $2300 and trade in is $1500 - you should be aiming for something in the middle. Retail is what a dealer might ask - and in this market you could probably get it for closer to $2k - my opinion anyway.
Thanks for the input!
As a not-very-big/tall almost-beginner, the gs500f seemed like a decent bike and had what I wanted: low-ish seat height, a bit of a fairing, controllable power, reliable engine, newb-friendly, etc. I even found a set of brackets that'll let me mount some decent hard bags. I'm coming from a 1986 Honda Rebel, so I'm looking to not go TOO crazy...
KBB pricing for me is similar to yours, though local-ish pricing is at or above the bike I posted (though many of those have been listed since the beginning of the summer or before), so perhaps folks just aren't realistic. There are a few that are even posted at higher than they went for retail when new... for a 4-6 year old bike
I'm also learning that low-mileage bikes are the rule, not the exception as their owners would believe.
This guy didn't sound like he'd had much interest, so he might go for a lower price to get it off his hands...
Bandits seem to be in short supply here... the two 600s (both 2001s) I've found are listed for 3k and 3800.