I think your questions have been answered on price. I will add, it ain't cheap but is sure is fun.
May I suggest a little inexpensive training as well?
In So Cal, you can check out the So Cal Skeet Clinic
In Nor Cal you can check out the Nor Cal Skeet Clinic
Both with give you good fundamentals in mounting and firing a shotgun as well as introducing you to one of the clay sports. A side bonus is that you can borrow a lot of different guns and try them out.