Depends what you like as far as preferences are concerned and what you want to pay.
I could recommend some “brands we don’t talk about here” to save money. I got this one metal for like $15 and it’s freakin’ amazing!
But let’s focus on YYE stock.
I think the Popstar is to small for a first.
The Duncan Maverick I hear good things about. At $40, it’s decent.
The dv888 is nice too. I like mine, but nothing amazing. The Shinwoo Zen series I’d like to get into.
Really, having a budget helps a lot. In general, I do really like and recommend the YYJ DM2. I know it’s not full metal. It’s still a massive upgrade over what you have in my opinion. At under $45, it’s an amazing yoyo. I have two, and I’m looking to get a few more. It’s my yoyo of choice that I always go to, despite having higher cost stuff.
And seeing a range of $100, that helps a lot. The Code 1, 54, MMN and Burnside are all great choices. I’d actually say go for the Burnside. It does lack the ability to use side effects, but for now, you don’t necessarily need it, but if you have to, the jump up is the Code 1 since the Code 2 will be too expensive.
For $80, the ILYY, I recently got this. Freakin’ amazing. Wow. Really impressive.
The C3Yoyo’s Dibase is really great and is super affordable, making this an amazing value! But keep in mind I love V-shapes. It have many others on my “wants list”, and in your budget is the Winning Bird and Dark Star.
The YYJ Meteor is something I like, but I recommend swapping the bearing for a KK, at least that’s what I liked. I also like the Hiroyuki Suzuki signature yoyos. I recommend against the JD Signature throw, the ENEME, only from the position of if you’re not dead on, it works against you, but if you’re clean and straight, it rewards you nicely, but the same thing can be said for the XCon Pro, which is a metal/plastic. I do like these two because they force me to improve.
I have the YYF Genesis+ and Superstar and G5 on my wants list. This was all started by me trying a SuperStar, but I’m gonna bump up to the Made in USA blue Superstar as the leader for $15 more. I’m kinda on a stacks binge right now. I can’t use stacks, but I want the option!
Another amazing NEWCOMER is the Square Wheels Royale. At at estimated price in your budget for a solid color one(which I will try to get ASAP), it’s a really nice H-shaped player.
If you can part with $10 more, you can get a lot more. I got a Duncan Momentum. Amazing player, seriously surprised at it. But when you make that jump, a lot more comes into your price range.
There’s lots under $100, fantastic and amazing stuff.
If you’re near Sacramento, you can try out my stuff. Nothing better than getting hands on experience with this stuff or at least SOME stuff.
Then again, I may not be the best person to ask. I like darn near everything and I want a very broad and varied collection of working, functional, playable yoyos.
If you want your fiance to understand, get her a nice yoyo that you can pop the caps out and decorate them and put them back. A ONE is nice for that. Even though it’s $10, it shows you care. Who knows, maybe you can tie the knot someday without having to remove a knot! A couple that can throw together should be able to stay together.