There was recently an Ithaca "Lefever Nitro Special" 12 guage on the "Firearms for Sale" classifieds here. If it's still there, it is a better gun than any of the bottom-end imports. If it's gone, tell him to look around for a Stevens 311, also a better gun than the Russian, Brazilian and Chinese doubles. Plain, but reliable. It had a single trigger, which was an extra cost item back then, but disqualifies it for Cowboy Action competition, if he's thinking of that.
The Turkish-made CZs have a good reputation and are prettier, but more money.
BTW, if you ever buy a "Nitro Special," DON'T pay Lefever prices for it or let a seller BS you that it is a Lefever. Ithaca bought the Lefever company, and stopped making their excellent and very expensive-to-make doubles. Then it attached the Lefever name to a line of newly designed "Nitro Special" doubles and hammerless singles called "Lefever Long Range" especially designed to be cheap and also to hold up to the "new" smokeless powder. They are strong, plain good guns, but NOT Lefevers.