What is a good tube tester and where can I buy one

I am currently looking for a tube tester, but I have no idea which are the reliable and dependable ones, and where can I buy them?
Among the "favorites" are the TV/7, the various Hickok models, And the AVO. I have a TV/7 B model which some consider the industry standard. It is fairly easy to use. You should be able to pick one up for $300 to $450, depending on cosmetics.

My favorite is the Hickok 752A, which is large, extremely easy to use, and preforms most readings that I need. I've seen these go for up to $550 on eBay, though you should be able to buy one in the $350 to $400 range.

I don't own a Hickok Card-A-Matic, however my friend does. Wow! What a tester! You simply install a data card (holes punched into a plastic card about 3" by 5"), which set all tube parameters for you! These are quite expensive. A perfect, recently calibrated military model with a complete set of cards will set you back around $800 to $1K! Those that have them love them, my friend would never part with his.

I have no experience with the AVO tube testers, but have heard that they are very nice, and can give you a much broader example of where the tube tests at different bias current, etc. Quite expensive!

Where to buy? I'd place a wanted ad right here!
You might want to buy Sean's Tester because he is upgrading his secondary system.

I think it will go at a good price.

I remain,
If you are not in the tube selling business you will be using your tester for two primary functions.

go/no go testing (is the tube bad)
matching (how does this tube compare with its brothers)

While I own several Hickoks, they are kind of a case of overkill for this type of testing. A less expensive tester will show if you have a dead or seriously dying tube and will also show the relationship between a given tube and another tube used for comparison (matching).

The ultimate "numbers" do not mean much (except to show if a tube is dead) as much as the match between a set of tubes.

This type of testing can easily be done with either the Eico or B&K testers at a reasonable price. >$100.00 USD on Ebay under "tube tester"
I too use a Hickock 752 and it is much easier and more versatile than my TV-7 because it can test both sides of a dual triode at the same time. The king though is probably the Cardmatic provided that you can get the proper assortment of cards.
If you like the 752, you should see/try the 580 - it was the replacement for 752 (which in turn supposedly replaced 539c), and has all the 752 features and more. plus fully transistorized so no calibration problems or tubes to wear out internally.

Cardmatics are ok, but I would opt not to get one (had an option on USM118 for $450 but passed) for a couple reasons: high maintenance - have to clean pins from time to time, some finicky mechanical parts in the card reader. Also, settings are set in stone (plastic) with the cards- no option to set your own parameters and no way to really even tell what parameters are set by the card. Also, finding a full set of cards is getting to be tough. Blank cards are even harder to find.

AVO- tend to be expensive but not really any more versatile than the better hickoks. Still limited to 300-400 plate volts or so, maybe not even that much (depends on AVO.).

TV7 is a good choice and if found at reasonable price, probably best choice. Eico/BK - not bad for what they are, esp. the transistorized BKs. no tube tester will really do more than rudimentary matching at best, btw.

Ed, we can't get away from it; the tube vesus transistor debate rages on even in the arcane world of tube testers.
Viridian -

Yes, but in this case, the SS tube tester (Hickok 580 in this case) has a lot going for it... if they were more common, I am sure they would surpass the 539* varieties as the best/most popular hickok. Ironically just as they came out with SS testers, the use of tubes started becoming less common...

WHat most testers lack (and sorely need) is a meter for reading plate current...

What about the lower price models, such as the 533, 533a, 600, 600a? Is it true that the non "a" models can't test 6922's 6DJ8's, etc? Thanks.