The Gemeinhardt 2SP Flute as a beginners/intermediate flute:
I had heard very mixed reports about these flutes, but considering the price I think they are perfectly adequate for a complete beginner to an intermediate level player. It seems some people find the lower notes difficult to play, or find them to be muffled. It works fine for me, so it must just be a matter of technique.
For the price range I think these are well made and have a good tone.
Second-hand they are generally cheaper than the yamaha 211 series. Is there much difference? Not really.