A recent comment expressed frustration about finding restorable hand tools at reasonable prices in the Portland, Oregon area. I am afraid I don't have any magic answers, but I have some suggestions and I particularly hope others will chime in.
Although I live 250 miles away, I have tried to find hand tools in the Portland area and have come away empty-handed. My own theory is that urban areas that experienced much of their development late in the hand tool era and that got electricity early aren't ideal places to look. Add to that the fact that, in the current economic climate, people are trying to make a living by buying vintage items at garage sales and on Craigslist in order to sell them for a profit on E-bay and it's very tough.
Here are some strategies I follow. Don't make a special effort to go to garage sales, particularly if they advertise vintage tools. I was literally stepped on by dealers when I did. If I am going somewhere and pass a garage sale that looks promising, I stop. Good signs are an older home with a large garage or a barn. I occasionally find good items this way without a lot of effort, chiefly planes, handsaws and bits/braces. Same general idea with Craigslist. If you see an interesting item, call and, if its still available, is reasonably priced and nearby, go take a look. Don't make a big effort.
A better approach for me is identifying junk/antique shops that have hand tools. I just stop in when I am driving by and sometimes find good tools this way. To me, the higher price is justified as long as it is still reasonable. I have had some great luck doing this when I travel on vacation, particularly in rural parts of Oregon. If you pass one, stop in and take a quick look. Takes five minutes and they'll usually deal.
Something I would definitely do if I were you is attend one of the sales at the Pacific NW Tools Collectors Association. Information here: PNWTC. I've never been, but hear good things.
A good place to buy vintage tools is on the sale/swap pages of the major forums, such as Woodnet and Sawmill Creek. There tends to be a much higher level of honesty and knowledge by sellers because it is a community. Many of the sellers are well known and have excellent reputations. I would buy from them without hesitation and the higher price is justified in my opinion.
I don't do Ebay and never will, but that's me. Some people have success.
Finally, don't underestimate what is restorable. You'd be surprised what a vinegar bath will do.
Anybody have other ideas to help him and others?