From what I have seen, region does matter quite a bit as to price and availability of a specific breed SKS for gun shops and gun shows. Time spent plying local traders often turn up the best deal. If not for outright $ for what the average SKS of that origin goes for, then for finding that rare bird a private person is getting rid of and he/she does not know what they really have on their hands. (In such an instance, if you pay their asking price, then they got the deal they wanted and you got a super deal. Everyone were happy with the deal and, therefore, no one got ripped off).
This is a gun that is worth shopping and be sure to include the on line auction houses. Since you appear to be in California, be sure to check out any auctioneer's prohibition against shipping to California in their "fine print." Some will not ship there and will hold it against you if you reside there and get the winning bid.
As a very positive side benefit of shopping this gun, you will learn a great deal more about this fine weapon's platform. This is a great gun and it can be understood why some Vietnam vets have bad feelings concerning it... since it was used against them. To compare, I have never heard of the same expressed from a WWII vet concerning the Mauser.