I don't know where you are in NJ, but if you are closer to Philly than NYC, you could consider Fred Oster at Vintage Instruments.
Re: playing... stick with it....mandolin is a really fun and versatile instrument...rather addictive as you might tell from the number of us who spend a lot of time discussing it when we're not playing!
I had a Weymann bowlback that I sold to a friend a while back because I just couldn't master the holding of the thing, as much as I enjoyed its sound and beauty. I will always be a member of the Noble Order in spirit...
Otter OM #1
Brian Dean OM #32
Old Wave Mandola #372
Phoenix Neoclassical #256
If you're gonna walk on thin ice, you might as well dance!