Originally Posted by P B G
Problematic - Not to the point of impossiblity, but the older American Lathes that are so common/available/awesome are usually best suited for cutting standard threads.
Personally I would be buying a Southbend - I would want it to be in good shape, with lots of extra goodies. Having a south bend and an atlas, I would go for a worse shape SB over a better shape atlas, it just has far better features.
Finding an older American lathe is so location dependent that the recommendation verges on BS. Doesn't hurt to check Craigslist though.
I've got the Grizzly G0602 and it's been pretty good. It comes with some basic little hand tools and a set of change gears. Whatever you buy, mount it to something very, very solid.
Another bit of advice. You'll eventually want something a little larger. While the 0602 has been pretty good for tasks here and there, I wish I could turn brake drums and discs. Not something that's possible on a lathe with only a 10" swing. My next lathe will be larger.