1. the SV 650 makes a great starter bike! Its got a very smooth power band, its very easy to ride.
2. Many people turn them into track bikes. They easily accept gsxr suspension, and there are tons of spare parts for them out there. And they are cheap! On a side note: the stock front suspension really sucks. It will be great when you are learning, because of how un-intimidating it makes the bike, but as you pick up speed you will want to swap it.
3. Dont worry about the scuffs, you will likely add a few of your own. There is no point in getting a shiney first bike, its just asking to hurt your ego.
4. Not sure about the price. If I remember correctly the '00 SV is carbed, which would be one thing against in my book. But at 2k there isnt much of a point in arguing about the price too much, especially given that you guys are friends. I would not pay over 3k for it.