yep I had a 1988 VLX-600 and that thing/motorcycle was cool looking and it went everywhere on or off road and the engine never failed the front bearings failed and the chain failed on me but the engines honda makes are bullet proof, just like the engine in my Suzuki 1999 hayabusa with over 76,000 hard riding miles and still going strong and the front comes up anytime I want it to plus ZERO valve job, only maintenance is clean/oil chain or replace chain once, change oil/filter, change spark plugs, couple recalls on gas fuel pump filter problem and CCT "cam-chain-tensioner" problem, change and replace worn out brake pads, tires, etc.They are junk. Nothing like Honda quality.
I'd stop opt for the 250 since half the point of buying it is to get a cheap bike that you can learn on and get all of your money back out of it (for me at least), and like you said the 300s are just overpriced.WOW, I did'nt even know there was a Ninja 300. I was once a proud owner of Ninja 250 before jumping into the mini racing scene. Just read the specs on 300. Impressive bike but maybe just a tad bit over priced?